Guest Opinion

Oct 18, 2013
by WLJ

Millennials here we come!

The promotion efforts of the Beef Community are all getting geared up to “Tell the Beef Story” to all the Millennials. What exactly is a Millennial, you may wonder.

Millennials are also know as Generation Y, Generation Next, The Net Generation, Echo Boomers, The Trophy Generation, and come in at 80 million strong!

The Millennial generation is even larger than the Baby Boomers—currently almost 30 percent of all adults and roughly 27 percent of the total population. Millennials are the most connected generation. They are 2.5 times more likely than older generations to be an early adopter of technology. Social media is their source of information and entertainment, and drives their decision-making. This makes them difficult to market to.

Yes, they sleep with their iPhones. What do Millennials think of Beef?

• Beef is an important, valued choice and it can be healthy and muscle building. Yet, it also gives impressions of overweight and masculinity.

• Those committed to health or the environment are not nearly as predisposed to be “beef people.”

• Simple, versatile cuts are where it’s at. They are apprehensive about exploring the full range that beef has to offer due to a lack of knowledge of cuts and how to cook them.

• If the pressure is on, it’s too much of a risk to do something new with beef.

• 46 percent don’t find beef convenient to cook for children.

• 55 percent believe it isn’t healthy to give kids too much red meat.

• Millennials find it hard to get the flavor and the tenderness right.

• They are buying leaner cuts of beef. In addition, going for the lower fat and less expensive beef options means they are eating the less flavorful cuts to begin with.

How do we reach them? According to the “Millennial Generation and Beef, Conversion,” December 2011, the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) has learned:

• Millennials want to make a difference and have a say in the products they choose.

• Let them in.

• Be transparent and real.

• Let them know we’re listening and learning from what we’re hearing.

• Give them what they want: a voice and a choice.

Concluding two days of meetings in Denver on Sept. 24 and 25, the Operating Committee—including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils—approved checkoff funding for a total of 18 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2013, in part to help reach “millennials.”

ANCW has been utilizing electronic marketing very successfully. Members have organized a number of Twitter parties this year. Four Twitter parties have netted an average of 5.6 million impressions per party (high 10.23 million, low 3.2 million). An average of 337 participants per party and 70 percent of post-party survey responses indicate opinions of beef have improved as a result of participating in the parties. All parties have trended nationally.

The key is great conversations about beef and easy beef meals plus selecting a host that has a great following of moms. Trending nationally is huge! Ask your family member Millennial.

Yes, a Twitter Party. In one hour 10.23 million impressions (positive messages about beef) were received on someone’s iPhone or computer via a credible person (someone they “follow”). That is powerful! That is a new kind of Party! — Barbara S. Jackson, President, American National Cattle- Women Inc.