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Growing your millennial basket size: Why the supplement aisle is working against you

June 7, 2017

4 Min Read
Growing your millennial basket size: Why the supplement aisle is working against you

Millennials like to make their own rules. So, it’s time for a new rulebook! This generation of consumers values quality, the environment and buying a product whose brand they feel good about supporting. They are also aware that the heathcare industry isn’t about to do them any favors, which means they are actively seeking products that put well-being back into their own hands. Selling to millennials is not a game of trickery—they’re too clever for that—but rather a demonstration of understanding. Give them what they seek and receive loyalty in return.

Millennials are a new breed

Armed with smartphones, environmental ethics and a keen sense for when they’re being sold to, enticing a 20-something to peruse the protein section might as well be like finding a jackalope. 

Millennials require trust from their brands and give loyalty in exchange.

More so than with previous generations these shoppers respond to transparency and authenticity. 

It’s simply too easy to unsheath a smartphone, scan a barcode and instantly learn about the synthetic ingredients and artificial fillers that pepper these products. Make big claims but can’t live up to it? They’ll know.

Quality, quality, quality

These days quality boils down to much more than what’s listed on the back of the bottle. Oh yes! We’re talking sustainability, how and from where ingredients were sourced, where the product was made (shop local!), and what the company stands for.

In fact, millennials are much more likely than their parents to form brand loyalty. Blame their love of self-expression and the rise of Instagram, but if a brand has spunk and moral fiber millennials are along for the ride.

Millennials aren’t looking for a cure-all

When it comes to choosing their medicine, food wins. That being said, millennials are not naive and know that whole foods alone may not satisfy all their nutritional needs.

Instead of reaching for a comprehensive product these savvy shoppers are eager to fortify their diets in the areas most lacking.

Cue the continued rise of condition-specific products! Probiotics for immunity and digestion, adaptogens for stress, and protein for "leg day." Odds are good that millennials have a brand for each. Odds are better that these brands can’t be found on the shelves of most health-food stores...match point: the internet.

Shoppers that look to the future

Multivitamins are not the only things of which millennials are wary. Growing up in an environment rife with healthcare drama, they’ve formed an inherent distrust of the system. Who can blame them? The odds are not exactly in their favor.

But these are no quitters! Forced to look beyond conventional healthcare, millennials are determined to take control over their own well-being. The ‘forever-young,' as they’re endearingly known, are all about prevention, setting their bodies up for success and feeling good now AND later. After all: 60 is the new 40 (and healthcare ain’t cheap).

Help millennials help themselves

So what does all this mean for our industry? Well, it’s time to shake things up.

Millennials believe in products largely because they’ve fallen in love with the brand. With social media, Instagram stories and quirk generally on the uptake, you can hardly blame them.

As a retailer: Align yourself with reputable brands (then double and triple check they actually live up to the hype).

Support companies that value the environment, practice transparency with ingredients, and insist on unwavering quality. In doing so you demonstrate an understanding for what this generation expects from its products.

As a brand: Show your stuff! You, like us, do this for a reason. Tell your story and woo your customers. They want to see who you are, why you’re passionate, and how you’re generally trying to make our planet a better place. Personality over perfection—let them know you’re human too.

As a retailer: Aesthetics! Re-merchandise those shelves with a focus on family blocking.

Take a moment to thumb through Instagram, ogle the beauty that is a well-curated Pinterest board, or even just walk into the coolest coffee shop in town. One thing these all have in common? The prevalence of minimalism. This is a visual generation and vibe matters.

Shelves that are cluttered with like-products competing for attention are counterproductive. 

Courtesy of the world wide web, these shoppers already know what they’re buying before they step foot in your store.

By separating same-brand products retailers make them harder to find. Unlike with previous generations this tactic doesn’t increase basket size by introducing them to cool new products; it simply deters them from making a return visit.

As a brand: Remember the power of negative space. Declutter, pare it down and make it easy for customers to know exactly what they’re getting. A label, website, or social account with too much going on just makes it seem like there’s something to hide.

As the meme goes: your vibe attracts your tribe.


The key to enticing millennials is to cater to their mindset. This generation is not their parents (and proud of it). They think they’ve got you all figured out but show them you know what they’re looking for and you might just be surprised!

With kindness from the millennials at Ora Organic.

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