Millennials Crave Transparency, Communication from Brands

Posted by: Cody Sanger in: Consumer Lifestyle - Food/Beverage -

Global millennial consumers’ buying power is expected to reach nearly $3 trillion in 2016, making it critical that marketers in the food and beverage industry understand what makes millennials tick in order to effectively reach them.

One thing we’ve learned is that millennials are attracted to authentic, trustworthy brands that they feel a genuine connection with.  Millennials are increasingly seeking out ethical and more transparent alternatives to brands that use conventional fast, mass production processes, for example:

  • 59 percent of millennials will stop buying a brand’s products if they believe the brand is unethical or untrustworthy
  • 58 percent of millennials agree that purchasing decisions reflect a person’s personal values
  • 74 percent wish food companies were more transparent about how they make their products

So how can brands be more transparent? Simply put: Communication is key. Here are three examples of companies that are leading the way in transparency and operational visibility:


Fishpeople Inc.

Not only does Fishpeople Inc. post the names and photos of the boat
captains who caught fish for its packaged seafood meals on its website, it also puts special codes on its labels that, when entered into its website, provide information about how each ingredient is produced, and the people who were involved in the production process.

Fishpeople expertly communicates, via packaging and through digital channels, its use of locally sourced ingredients, which is why it’s the type of brand that connects with millennial consumers.


home-page-fishFish people



Steaz, the company behind the nation’s best-selling organic iced green tea and a LANE client, has been producing certified organic and certified Fair Trade beverages for consumers to enjoy since 2002, and it continues to be an innovator and industry leader today, raising the standard for corporate sustainability and social responsibility. In addition to highlighting health benefits and sourcing information about Steaz products on its website, fans can follow the Fair Trade movement through a live Fair Trade-based Instagram feed (#FairTrade).

Providing insight into the various production processes that go into making a can of Steaz, from working with Fair Trade farmers to sourcing organic and natural ingredients, is a transparency that millennials are attracted to and that big brands are less keen to share.



Although 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from African counties, less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there. That discrepancy drove a group of former Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar to launch Madécasse, a producer of Madagascar chocolate and vanilla, in 2008.

Madecasse 2

What makes Madécasse different from other chocolate makers is that more than 90% of its chocolates are made from start to finish in Madagascar. Its website explains that they start by empowering Madagascar’s cocoa farmers with skills training and higher wages. Then they work with a local chocolate manufacturer to produce the final product.

Because Madécasse raises awareness of its involvement in Madagascar, it’s positioned itself as “a brand with a cause” and has established a sense of trust among millennial consumers.

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