Momentum For Your Business - Millennial Motivators For Snacking - McKee Foods

Momentum For Your Business - Millennial Motivators For Snacking

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

By 2023, Millennials (26 - 41 years old) will make up nearly half (46%) of our workforce (1). Each generation has its own characteristics, but because of their sheer size, Millennials are greatly impacting the way American retailers and restaurants sell and market food products. Below are motivating factors for this generation, and helpful tips to engage them.


55% of Millennials say convenience is one of the most important considerations when buying food (2). 62% of Millennials reported purchasing prepared deli food, carry-out, delivery, or fast food within the last seven days (3).

Based on this, Vending, Micro Markets, and Onsite Dining should be a perfect match for Millennials, as long as you are meeting their expectations with other key factors.

Unique Experiences

Millennials crave novelty and unique experiences. There are several ways in which you can generate excitement and interest at your locations.

Offer a "Sneak Peek" at new items. An informal, unmanned approach might include a sign that reads "Sample & Tell Us What You Think", including the samples and a link to an online survey. Offer a giveaway from the featured manufacturer and draw a name from the feedback received. Millennials are reward-driven and love to share reviews of products and experiences.

Offer seasonal promotions unique to the location. Bundle deals with options so customers can personalize their selections while feeling that the promotion is tailored to their preferences. Or, promote affordable options not available to them from other places.

Variety is a purchase intent driver for Millennials, so be sure your product mix includes a variety of options. Rotate new items in and out on a regular basis.

Reward Driven and Price Driven

Many Millennials are paying off student and/or car loans, and tend to act more responsibly with money and spending habits. For example, Millennials spend 30% less than Generation X-ers and Baby Boomers spend on entertainment. Additionally, 60% of Millennials prefer to purchase generic brands over name brands if it means saving money (4).

Offer affordable products and promotions for price-driven Millennials.

More than any other generation, Millennials are more likely to remain faithful to a brand because of loyalty rewards (5).

Offer a loyalty program that is relevant, simple, and convenient. Relevance could be based on an online or app driven loyalty program that incorporates your customers’ purchase history. The enrollment process should be simple. The program, as well as the rewards redemption process, should be easy to understand and use.

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

Fewer Meals, More Snacks

Millennials love to snack, and often a snack will replace a meal. They also seek bigger snack options or mix ’n match snacks, that can better serve as a meal.

Bundled promotions suggest mix ’n match options, and also may offer a unique purchasing experience if there is flexibility with the items included in the promotion.

Online Options

This generation is the first to have grown up in an "online" world. 63% complete transactions on their smartphones (4). Many Millennials engage with their smartphones more than they do with family, friends, and partners. When ordering food, many prefer to order online with limited human contact. Technology-driven solutions that make their visit easier, faster, and more personal are a top priority for them.

Seamless payment options and technology-driven promotions based on personal buying habits may be two great selling points for micro markets and dining solutions, as it relates to this generation.

If you offer onsite dining, you might consider an online ordering app or responsive website, where your customers can order online ahead of time and enjoy fast & easy pickup. You might even consider offering delivery if the cafeteria is in a different area of a building or campus than some of your customers.

If you want to market to Millennials, you’ll most likely need to turn to online / smartphone strategies. The messaging would need to be creative and not in-your-face. Consider SMS (mobile text) promotions, geofencing or targeted social media ads that appear in your customers’ feeds, as well as online surveys and contests to grow your customer database.

Charitable Causes and Good Citizenship

81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship (6).

Consider offering a "Give Back" day where a percentage of your proceeds go to a local charity, maybe even one they choose. If you practice sustainability, highlight your choice of recyclable food containers and have a recycling bin for those products.


Contact your Little Debbie Vending representative to see how we can assist with promotional opportunities for your customers and the millennials they serve.

1. Brack, J. and Kelley K., Maximizing Millennials in the Work Place, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2012, Retrieved from
2. Robinson, C. 9 Ways Millennials Are Changing The Way We Eat, February 21, 2018, Retrieved from
3. Cernansky, R. Millennials Spending More Money eating Out, Less Time Preparing Food At Home, Jan 27, 2018, Retrieved from
4. Lexington Law, 45 Statistics on Millennial Spending Habits in 2019, Jan 2, 2019, Retrieved from
5. Carter, B. Loyalty Statistics: The Ultimate Collection, October 16, 2017, Retrieved from
6. Landrum, S. Millennials Driving Brands To Practice Socially Responsible Marketing, March 17, 2017, Retrieved from

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