Magazine: Generation Y is coming – and they want everything at once

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2019. 09. 30. 07:56

As the purchasing power of Generation Y – consumers born between 1980 and 1995 – is growing, various aspects of sustainability are becoming more and more important. So that FMCG companies can adapt to these changes, their Paris-based organisation, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) started a global conference series in 2016. Last year’s event was in Lisbon, this October Berlin will follow.

At another global conference, organised by CGF in Vancouver early summer, German consultancy company Roland Berger revealed the results of one of their surveys: 60 percent of consumers trust multinational brands. However, in Germany the popularity of the Nivea brand is only 14 percent in Generation Y (it is 25 percent in Generation X), because these consumers’ expectation is that a brand should be a source of joy and it ought to contribute to sustainability too.

Sebastian Bayer, one of dm’s directors opined at the Vancouver conference that Generation Y forces companies to try to find new ways. Jürgen Kohnen, a director with P&G added that Generation Y wants to get everything at once.Peter Freedman, managing director of CGF highlighted after the event that the conference had showed: if companies work together, they can speed up the digital transformation and the process of reacting to the sustainability expectations of consumers.

As for last year’s sustainability conference in Lisbon, the three main points on the agenda were 1. Promoting a healthy lifestyle, 2. The FMCG sector supporting positive migration, 3. Cooperation in making waste management sustainable (with the focus on plastics). There were 270 participants from 26 countries; 41 percent represented retail trade and 22 percent were product manufacturers. Pierre Chandon, professor of marketing at the L’Oréal’s INSEAD scholarship foundation gave a presentation about his 15 years of research into the eating habits of consumers. He revealed that it is easier for consumers to change the quantity of food they buy than to quit the tasty foods they like so much.

Speakers who talked about the second topic discussed how FMCG companies can get to know the valuable skill of migrants. Susane Correia de Campos, head of employee relations and social responsibility at retail chain Jeronimo Martins revealed: they have a project for supporting social cohesion and development, which creates jobs for people that belong to vulnerable groups of society, e.g. migrants. Richard Thompson, professor of the University of Plymouth spoke about how to use plastics in a more responsible fashion, which serves sustainability purposes better.

This year Berlin will be the host of the FMCG sector’s global sustainability summit, on 24-25 October. The organisers are expecting 300 participants from 25 countries. Peter Freedman, managing director of CGF and Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG will open the conference together. Main topics will include the latest megatrends, health and wellness, on which consumer trust can be build all over the world. Among the speakers there will be high-level representatives of Danone, Mars Incorporated, Metro AG, Mondeléz International and Walmart. //

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