The Millennial Influence

by Megan Arnold February 20, 2020

When a brand sits down to figure out the packaging for their latest product, they Man standing on the street in a yellow raincoat holding a sign that says Save Our Planethave one thing on their mind. How do we get people’s attention? It’s a question that brands often ask themselves, but as the market shifts and new generations become the target buyers, how a brand captures attention has to shift as well.

That’s the position brands find themselves in as Millennials take that top spot. But, it’s not just bright colors and bold graphics that are going to pull them in. When it comes to packaging and the things influencing their buying habits, Millennials have just one thing to say – Sustainability.

In this age of environmental awareness, it’s not a shock that sustainability is an important priority for Generation Y. It’s a much bigger priority compared to other generations, and Millennials are willing to reward those brands that align with their beliefs, both with their purchasing power and their overall brand loyalty. But what exactly does sustainability mean and what are the expectations being put on companies? 

Sun peaking through a forest of treesRecyclable doesn’t always equal sustainable, so for Millennials, brands have to do more than just slap that recyclable symbol on their packaging. Instead, they’re looking for brands that are actively trying to protect natural resources, are using renewable materials, and are practicing sustainable forestry and regenerative agriculture. Sure, the recycling part is important, but it’s more about protecting what we have and replenishing those resources that get used.

So what kind of packaging are Millennials expecting? For them, they hold a strong belief that the healthier a product is than the healthier the packaging materials should be. Shoppers are looking for alternatives to plastic and are more likely to reach for paper packaging. Some even make a conscious effort to buy products sold in packaging made from plant-based materials.

Person holding a blue water bottle that says Plastic Free in front of a bush

In the long run, brands will need to understand that this concern is not short-lived. Millennials will continue to focus on long-term solutions for sustainability and that, in turn, will be a game-changer for packaging. But, with great change can come great reward. Start making conscious efforts to align yourself with the eco-values of Millennials and you’ll find yourself with a loyal customer base who will be willing to pay more for your products. In the end, it’ll be a win for your company and a win for the environment.

Source: Whitepaper by Evergreen Packaging

Megan Arnold
Megan Arnold