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Marketing to millennials key component of IEOOC #BIGONIONLOVE campaign

Recognizing the economic clout wielded by the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s, the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee/USA Onions is reaching out to millennials in its #BIGONIONLOVE marketing campaign this year.

In the United States, the millennial population is estimated at 80 million, second to the 110 million Baby Boomers. With a buying power of $200 billion according to Forbes, millennials represent a bigger chunk of consumerism than the 50 million Gen Xers born between 1961 and 1981 as well as the 23 million Gen Zers born between 1995 and 2012.  

With those stats in mind, the overarching message being sent out is multigenerational, planting the “seed-to-table” story on several social media platforms to reach not only consumers but also industry customers.

“I have two sons who fit in the millennial demographic, and they use social media to communicate and to get their news rather than reading hard-copy newspapers," IEOOC Promotions Committee Chair Grant Kitamura said. "In fact, my sons don’t even watch the news on TV. We’ve seen the best way to reach that market segment is through social media.”

He added that consumers in general and millennials as shown by research “like to eat fresh food, and they’re more interested in where it comes from.” Kitamura said, “People like to buy local when they can, and eventually the term ‘local’ could mean buying domestic products, which is important to us.”

Finding fresh and local foods has become easier in recent years through electronic communication, and with #BIGONIONLOVE, the hashtag gives social media users the key to search for posts across the platforms. As part of the game plan to reach all market segments, USA Onions offers giveaways, information about food sourcing and notification of special events.

The campaign also includes recipes developed for various ages, with video demos and educational presentations along with a “fun factor” that features short videos and GIF animated images.

An americanpressinstitute.org story published in March 2016 stated that some 88 percent of millennials get their news from Facebook, with Pinterest, Twitter and Reddit, Instagram and Snapchat also seeing steady millennial traffic. YouTube is relied on for do-it-yourself and other videos.

According to a report from USA Onions, the effectiveness of the new social media campaign on Facebook to engage more millennials is working. The report said, “While the USA Onions Facebook ‘fan’ base calculates the percentage of millennials in third place behind Gen X and Boomers, since the launch of the new and creative social media campaign the percentage of millennials reached has seen the highest rate of growth — proof positive the campaign’s millennial target is on track.”