10 Ways to Communicate More Powerfully with Millennial Parents

10 Ways to Communicate More Powerfully with Millennial Parents

March 18, 2020
Al Heller

By Al Heller, Contributing Editor, SupermarketGuru.com

For Millennial moms and dads, one mission prevails over all others when food-shopping: keep it healthy.

To that end, 88 percent research product choices before their store visit (eCommerceFoundation.org) and 56 percent research on their smartphones when in the aisles (IRI) to feel more confident in their food purchasing and meal planning decisions.

These behaviors leave 58 percent of Millennial parents feeling “overwhelmed by all the parenting information” on websites, blogs, apps and social media, found a TIME Magazine poll cited by The Washington Post in 2019.

Educational initiatives by retail dietitians can help them filter and react wisely to the avalanche of food information they find on the Internet. A few tips contained in the new RDBA Samplefest presentation (insert hyperlink), Millennial Parents: Anxious in Life, Laser Focused in the Food Aisles, include:  ‘myth of the week’ features in social media that dispel a food inaccuracy trending online; podcasts or Facebook Live segments that simplify food and nutrition advice for kids of varying ages; and launch of a Millennial Parents Food Support Group as an open forum for kids’ food topics.

If, for example, online content dissuades lower-income consumers from buying any fruits and vegetables because they can’t afford organic, that’s an unintended poor outcome any of these approaches could help correct.

There is plenty retail dietitians can do to communicate more powerfully with young Millennial families, considering the influence children have on their families’ food and beverage decisions. Among these ideas:

  • Speak to kids and their parents, teachers and nannies at neighborhood schools and day care centers, about successful ways to build healthy meal and snack habits, childhood food issues, and an ‘eat a salad a day’ initiative.  Build community trust too by sharing handouts on lunchbox packing, healthy snacking and more, inviting people to schedule consults and tours at your store, and scheduling class visits for ‘wow’ sampling of fresh foods and more.
  • Develop handouts with a few basic game rules for Millennial Parents and their kids shopping together for healthier choices.  One thought: a Smart Snacks in the Aisles game, which lists better-for-you options in every store aisle. Parents can tell their kids how many they can choose.  This can empower kids, help them learn, and boost center-store traffic.

Moreover, tailor the tone, medium and frequency of communications to the array of expert and research-led insights from Blackboard.com, ContinuED.com, a Kraft Heinz/YPulse study, and Georgetown University linguistics professor Deborah Tannen contained within the Samplefest presentation, among them:

  • 92 percent of Millennial moms and dads want messages to address them as equal parents.
  • Aim to engage first through social media because 77 percent of new parents say they feel pressure from social media, and 32 percent have bought an item for their kids after seeing it there.
  • Keep e-mails, blogs and social media posts consistently mobile-friendly and visual because videos can double or triple clickthrough rates and color can raise willingness to ready by 80 percent.
  • Expect Millennial Parents to be skeptical and crowdsource with friends and family to validate what you tell them.
  • Be helpful and advisory to Millennial Parents. Don’t condescend, avoid technical language when possible, and confirm periodically that what you say is understood.