Marketing poultry products to younger generations

Marketing poultry and egg products to younger generations requires a more tailored approach unimaginable in the past. This offers great opportunities for producers, but this change brings risks for those who fail to engage.

(artiemedvedev | Bigstock.com)
(artiemedvedev | Bigstock.com)

In addition to the traditional influences of price, taste and convenience – where poultry products fare quite well – new factors are now considered by consumers, especially by younger generations. 

Consumers now want authenticity, as it relates to food composition, ingredients and healthiness. Sustainability is the second new buying factor and relates to farming practices such as feeding or manure management, bird welfare, the type of packaging used and, finally, all aspects of food waste. 

Buying factors have changed mostly because the customer base is changing. 

New world

By 2027, consultancy AT Kearney has established, Gen Z – those born between 1998 and 2016 – will be the largest demographic segment, representing 28% of the global population. Combined with millennials (born 1981-97), these two generations will represent 52% of the world population. 

We are now seeing the first parents from Gen Z raising families and searching for the best foods for their children. It is important to remember that each generation is different. For instance, when asked if they were looking for brands and companies that were doing good for the world, millennials and Gen Z reacted much more positively than baby boomers or Gen X. 

Marketing to younger generations first requires that the poultry sector offers branded products, and the ongoing switch from unbranded, bulk products sold by weight or by unit to a wide range of branded, value-added products must continue. But this is only a small part of what must be done to capture Gen Z consumers. 

Technology central

In many ways, Gen Z are different from other generations. They are the true digital natives – for them, the world has never existed without the internet. 

Gen Z are extremely technology and social media savvy. They like to post and share their experiences on social media, using different platforms for different purposes. These posts are designed to influence others in their networks, but Gen Z can also be influenced by their peers. 

As we all know, Gen Z are true multi-taskers, often simultaneously handling two or more connected devices. Some have described them as having an attention span problem while, in fact, through natural evolution, they have developed one of the biggest challenges to marketers – the eight-second filter.  We must capture their interest in eight seconds or fail. Once this attention is gained, Gen Z are extremely focused and engaged in the causes they care for. They seek authenticity, quality, integrity and transparency in the businesses and brands they interact with. They also want opportunities for new experiences and roles in making the world better. They are the new social activists, using social media as their main means of influencing others.

Tailor your offering

The poultry sector must embrace digital marketing as the way to reach and interest these new Gen Z consumers. Gen Z are typically connected via two to three devices or deal with four to five different social platforms at the same time. 

This trend will further expand with the number of internet of things (IoT) devices (connected devices) expected to rise from 7 billion in 2018 to more than 21 billion by 2025, or a global average of three IoT devices per person. 

About 80% of Gen Z use social media daily and 25% of them post videos. They use several platforms, each for a specific purpose: finding information with Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, sharing experiences with Snapchat or creating their personal image for others to see on Instagram. There are about 3.2 billion users of social media platforms – roughly 42% of the world population – spending a little over two hours daily on social media. 

If you are still unconvinced of social media’s power, consider this recent example: This year, an Instagram campaign to raise mental health awareness and showing nothing more than an egg achieved more than 50 million likes, the highest number ever on the platform. This is the true power of social media activism, where your company’s image can be shaped by others – especially if you are not present.

The challenges with digital marketing to Gen Z are numerous. First, we must be present on social media and meet Gen Z where they “live.” We must attract their attention, engage and interest them, but we can also leverage their creativity. Gen Z can generate content for our businesses and create buzz for us.

A PC-based website is no longer enough; digital marketing must be based on mobile connectivity. We must treat these platforms individually, using the full potential of custom-made features. The focus should be on experiences, and less on products or brands. Finally, highlight your business’s core values as Gen Z care a lot about them. 

Retail Mode After Digital Revolution Direct Access To Customers 1

Producers can access and influence consumers.

Interaction

More as a revolution than an evolution, digital marketing has truly changed the retail model. Before digital marketing, the model was linear, with retailers alone being able to interact with consumers. Using the full potential of digital technologies, we now have the opportunity to directly engage with consumers. This revolution offers producers and processors an opportunity to counteract large retailers’ overwhelming power.

Digital marketing is a win-win for all. For poultry and egg farmers, processors and retailers, it is an opportunity for value creation through automation of services and savings, individualization with customized and personalized marketing, constant connection and interaction with consumers with the chance to deliver timely and relevant information to them. For consumers, digital marketing provides benefits such as convenience, relevance of information provided, desired experiences, a sense of empowerment and also some financial savings. Yet despite digital marketing having much to offer, food sector companies lag behind those in the information technology, telecommunications and banking sectors in terms of digital marketing engagement. 

Tales to tell

Considering the desire of Gen Z to “do good,” the poultry sector and its companies must use digital marketing to convey its positive impact. 

Globally, Gen Z (and millennials) are truly disconnected from the rural environment. Most Gen Z live in large cities and we must find innovative ways to bring the farms to them, reinforcing our position as a sector with nothing to hide. 

Younger generations care about the environment and the sustainability of food production. The poultry sector has an excellent story to communicate with eggs and broilers having the lowest level of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram of animal protein produced, offering great nutritious products with the lowest impact on our planet. 

The choice we make in terms of packaging materials send clear messages to Gen Z consumers about our true commitment to the environment. For Gen Z, the keywords these days are recycle, reduce and reuse.

Digital marketing will also help us attract the younger generation to the poultry sector and remain committed to producing healthy animal proteins in the most sustainable manner. 

Gen Z Prefers Branded Poultry Products 2

Generation Z prefers branded poultry products. (Vincent Guyonnet)

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