Millennials, born between 1981-2000, are highly coveted customers by traditional consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Having grown up alongside the digital revolution and now starting to form their own families and households, Millennials have tremendous purchasing power that is increasing with each year. Research has shown that traditional CPG companies are losing ground and relevance among Millennials, who tend to gravitate towards specialty micro-brands.

In an effort to capture Millennials, marketers tend to base their strategies on generalizations and catchy terms commonly used to describe the generationdigitally native“, “immediate gratification seekers“, “value-driven” and “distrustful of big brands“.

We surveyed a representative sample of 1000 Millennials in the United States, giving us a pulse on what they think, believe, and value in 2018, particularly pertaining to consumer goods.

Contrary to the broad generalizations depicted of them, our survey found that Millennials are not a homogeneous group. Using Segmanta’s breakthrough survey creation and analytics platform, we were able to field complex, thought-provoking survey questions to Millennials and analyze their responses, uncovering unique insights and behavioral trends that testify to the complexity of Millennials and their consumer habits.

Below we highlighted 10 varying insights covering topics from shampoo to the millennial job search, click on any of the images to dig deeper into the data from where we uncovered the insight.

1. Married millennials are almost twice as likely to shop for grooming products online than unmarried millennials

During the past few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of online grooming subscription services, such as Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and Gillette Shave Club, which send customers their shaving gear at regularly scheduled intervals to their doorstep. We found that married Millennials were almost twice as likely to purchase their razors from a website (20%) than their unmarried peers (10.7%).  

Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club were also a more popular destination (12.4%) among married Millennials, indicating that convenience and buying in bulk may be significant factors for espoused couples. Single Millennials were more likely to shop for their razors in pharmacies or convenience stores.

2. 1 out of every 3 millennials has concerns about how their personal data is being used by social media networks

Given the social media privacy crisis of 2018 and the introduction of sweeping new legislation aimed at protecting users’ privacy, perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that heightened awareness of privacy issues are being felt by Millennial consumers. What we didn’t anticipate, however, is how high these privacy concerns would rank in comparison to other perceived negative impacts of social media.

In fact, Millennials cited privacy concerns three times more often over other perceived negative impacts of social media such as cyberbullying, antagonistic content, and physical health or wellbeing concerns. Surprisingly, 54% of women were more likely to have privacy concerns regarding social media versus 46% of men.

3. Lack of necessity is the main reason millennials choose not to purchase fabric softener

Millennials are being blamed for the drop in sales of fabric softener. Our survey found that 53.9% of Millennials do not purchase fabric softener for themselves or their household, with the main reason (35.8%) being that they simply do not find fabric softener necessary for doing their laundry.

When analyzing across education levels, we found that better-educated Millennials are more likely to purchase various personal care and household products. However, with fabric softener, we found the reverse to be true. Millennials over the age of 26 who received a bachelor’s degree or higher were less likely to purchase fabric softener than their less educated peers. They were also more likely to say that fabric softener is unnecessary for doing laundry.

4. In the past 3 months, a whopping 73% of Millennials have not made a payment with any form of digital wallet

Not so fast, digital revolution! Millennials are not yet completely on board with digital wallets such as PayPal, Venmo, Google Wallet, or specialty digital wallet apps such as the Starbucks app. In fact, only 27.2% of Millennials have used a digital wallet in the past 3 months and out of those consumers, 12.9% say that digital wallets are their preferred method of payment.

Overall, Millennials cite cash as their most common method of payment though they would most prefer to pay with debit card, reminding us that we might just be getting ahead of ourselves in characterizing Millennials as always embracing digital.

5. Compared to older millennials, those under the age of 21 were more likely to choose Dove as the most natural skincare brand

Dove has the highest brand recognition of skin moisturizer (84.6%), followed by Olay. Of those respondents who had heard of Dove moisturizer, 32.2% of Millennials ages 30+ ranked it as the most natural brand for their skin. This number jumped to 42.6% for Millennials under the age of 21 years old. In contrast, while Olay is a widely recognized brand among Millennials (with recognition of 69.2%), only 6.6% voted it as the most natural brand for their skin, indicating that while Millennials are well aware of Olay, they do not widely view it as a green brand.

6. Male and female millennials do not see eye-to-eye on what they value most in a shampoo brand 

According to males, the three most important factors when purchasing shampoo and the brand that best represents these, are:

  1. Nice smelling (66.3%) – Dove (21.9%)
  2. Value for money (63.8%) – Head and Shoulders (28.6%) 
  3. Made specifically for my hair type (37.4%) – Head and Shoulders (35.5%)

According to females, the three most important factors when purchasing shampoo and the brand that best represents these, are:

  1. Repairing damage (59.2%) – Pantene Pro-V (27.7%)
  2. Nice smelling (59.0%) – Herbal Essences (35.5%)
  3. Value for money (53.1%) – Suave (33.9%)

7. Those who purchase personal care products online are less likely to view discounts as the main benefit of online shopping

We asked Millennials to choose the top two factors that would influence them the most when they consider buying a product online versus in-store. Price was the biggest factor by far (55.5%), but we decided to dive deeper. It turns out that for respondents who indicated in a previous question that they regularly purchase grooming or hair care products from a website, price plays much less of a role in online shopping, dropping to 49%. These customers tend to value more factors other than price when buying online, such as the convenience of the delivery, a subscription service, the ability to customize the product, and a more instantaneous online customer service experience.

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This suggests that the features provided by an online service are more valuable in attracting and retaining existing Millennial online consumers, whereas price plays a bigger and more important role in converting in-store shoppers to buy online.

8. There is a direct correlation between certain dietary decisions and the desire to purchase more natural CPGs

When asked which food components they have been avoiding or eliminating in their diets, the majority (34.6%) of Millennials said that they haven’t been restricting anything specific in their diets. However, for those that do restrict, the most avoided ingredients are sugar (21.3%), followed by processed food (20.1%).

By analyzing their dietary habits, we found that Millennials who avoided GMOs were the most likely to base their purchase decisions of personal care products on the use of natural ingredients. Compared to those who did not eliminate anything from their diets, Millenials who avoided GMOs were almost 4x more likely to look for natural ingredients when purchasing laundry detergent, and more than 2x more likely when purchasing shampoo.

9. Millennials who prioritize a company’s values are also more optimistic about their future fortunes

Millennials have been extensively discussed as the generation that’s currently shaping corporate culture and values. It’s no secret that the financial recession of 2008 still exists as the main driver of Millennial sentiment and behavior in the workplace, including recent data showing that most Millennials are actually worse off than previous generations due to the crisis. We were curious how Millennials who prioritized certain aspects of a job might be more or less likely to have a positive outlook on their future.

Our survey asked respondents to choose the top three factors that were most important to them when considering a full-time job. We then asked respondents to rank from 1 to 5 how they expect their standard of living in 20 years would compare to their parents’. 

We found that Millennials who chose Company values that match my own as a top factor were more likely to rank their financial forecast higher, with an average of 3.77 out of 5. Which job factor correlated to the lowest expected standard of living? Turns out, Millennials who prioritize a job that allows for a flexible work-life balance ranked their future prospects the lowest, with only a 3.41 out of 5.

10. Clean energy is the technology that most millennials think will make the biggest positive impact in the future

The future is green! 46.4% of Millennials chose clean energy as the innovation that will do the most good in the future, by far outranking the other technologies in our list which included computerized medicine (13.25%), 3D printers (11.7%), self-driving cars (10.8%) and augmented/virtual reality (7.8%). This gives new meaning to the term ‘green marketing’, making us optimistic about what new types of natural, eco-friendly and sustainable products the future of CPG holds!