Money & Business

Spread the Word: Millennials Love Mayo, Survey Says

By / Jun 3, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Every industry has been doing its due diligence to gain insight into the millennial generation. In today’s edition, the Association for Dressings and Sauces takes a generational approach to studying trends around one of the industry’s core products.

We know, we know: Another story about millennials will have you rolling your eyes. But guess what? That headline was enough to get you to click through and read about how much millennials love mayonnaise.

And that was the exact reason why the Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) decided to lead with a generationally focused data point in its new survey on the often-overlooked—and, for many, vastly underrated—condiment.

There’s such an emphasis on millennials across the board right now, so the food industry needs to take notice as well.

“Millennials are one of the biggest demographic groups, bigger than any of the previous demographic groups,” said Stan Samples, communications manager at ADS. “It behooves us all to understand their wants and needs. There’s such an emphasis on millennials across the board right now, so the food industry needs to take notice as well.”

Back to the mayo: According to the survey, the older half of millennials, people ages 25 to 34, came out on top as the most frequent purchasers of the whipped dressing (37 percent), nearly doubling the next closest group of consumers, boomers from 55 to 65 (21 percent).

Other interesting mayonnaise facts:

  • The most popular way people use mayo is on a sandwich (90 percent), followed by as an ingredient in cold salads (73 percent) and in a dip for vegetables (44 percent).
  • The number-one reason for choosing a mayonnaise or whipped dressing was taste (40 percent), followed by price (19 percent) and brand (18 percent).
  • Geographically speaking, respondents from the South favored the condiment most: 30 percent reported making a mayo purchase in the last month, compared to 24 percent each in the Northeast and Midwest and 23 percent in the West.

For ADS, the survey is just another way to provide value to members.

“Our board of directors felt like it would be good to commission a survey to get some insights into the category as a whole—certainly to help them figure out ways to promote the product,” said ADS Executive Director Jeannie Milewski. “Further, you have members who are larger companies and who do a lot of surveys, but some of the smaller companies can’t necessarily afford to do surveys. This is one area, from an association perspective, that you can offer a great benefit to all of your members.”

The deep dive into mayo was the first of its kind for any product category in ADS’s domain, Milewski said. The group’s decision to focus on the whipped dressing was a nod to the organization’s origins.

“We were founded as the Mayonnaise Products Manufacturers Association, so mayo is one of our core products,” she said. “We did get a lot of great data from the survey—some that might validate ideas in the industry and some that might surprise our members, but all very useful data. And the plan right now is to get this out to our members and then do a follow-up survey in 2016 to see if any of the trends have changed.”

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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