Millennial behaviors benefitting McCormick
by Monica Watrous
BOCA RATON, FLA. — Trends in home cooking and healthy eating create a recipe for success for McCormick & Co. Favoring the flavor company’s U.S. business is the rise of millennial consumers, who bring both interests to the table.
“This demographic shift bodes extremely well for McCormick,” said Lawrence Kurzius, president, Global Consumer Business, and chief administrative officer, during a Feb. 19 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton. “Today’s millennials love to cook, with 64% making this statement versus 52% for the remaining U.S. population.”
More than a third of millennial consumers said they eat more healthfully than their parents, he added, citing research from a study by Barkley Service Management Group.
“And with our foundation in herbs and spices, we’re inspiring healthy choices,” he said.
Younger consumers also indicate preference for global flavors. Cuisine-specific and ethnic fare accounts for 44% of all U.S. flavoring occasions, and the interest skews higher for 18-to -34-year-olds, he said.
As part of efforts to reach this critical consumer segment, McCormick has doubled its investment in digital marketing since 2011 and ramped up its presence on social media. Set to launch in the coming months is FlavorPrint, a personalized recipe recommendation web site designed to help consumers identify flavor preferences and discover recipes based on food intolerances, preparation time, cooking preferences, seasonality and geography.
“While in beta tests, together with our relaunch of McCormick.com, we’ve measured some great results, including six times higher pages per visit and 80% of users spending more than three minutes on the site,” Mr. Kurzius said. “Whether it’s through digital marketing or more traditional brand support, we’re receiving a strong return on our spending and are committed to increasing this investment to drive sales of our brand.”
Forthcoming U.S. product launches also leverage consumer trends. A new Indian Essentials blends line, Hispanic seasonings and gluten-free recipe mixes are scheduled to debut in 2014.
“For the total company, new products launched in the past three years contributed 9% to our top-line growth in 2013,” Mr. Kurzius said. “Actions are under way to accelerate scalable innovation at McCormick. We’ve created a flavor framework based on consumer insights, utilized our flavor forecast more closely as a springboard for new items, and you're going to see a more rapid pace in our global roll-out of winning products. As a result, we expect to build strong momentum in 2014 with a robust pipeline of innovation.”