To resonate with contemporary consumers who relish authentic foods, brand marketers must be transparent, said Mathis Martines, Kroger’s senior category manager for innovation and snacks, at the Bevnet Beverage Entrepreneur & Innovation Conference in New York, Wednesday.

“I think the biggest thing they can do is be authentic, to be transparent,” he said. “Your product should be who you are as a company. It should represent your core values. What our generation is ultimately looking for is no hidden agendas. We want to discover the truth and we don’t see any reason to hide it. The more cloudiness that exists in the messaging of the products, the more difficult it’s going to be sell them.”

The consumer base to which Martines refers comprises members of Generation X, and Millennials who are entering their prime earning and family-building years. Given their motivations and purchasing power, they present “a perfect storm of opportunity,” he said. 

"We're at the point where we have to search for truth at all costs, but the search for truth is not limited to social and political information. I believe it's also tied to food and beverages, ingredients, sourcing and authenticity. Eating is one of the most intimate and personal experiences we have and what we eat and drink is really who our generation says we are."

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