Ingredient Transparency: A Core Millennial Value

Millennials are a new breed of consumer, and one of their most distinguishing characteristics is their desire to support organizations and products that resonate with their moral priorities. Millennials are much more interested in sustainable investing than previous generations and millennials expect good behavior from companies and products in exchange for their loyalty. Millennial standards are high; they’re not afraid to scrutinize and they’re not afraid to push. In response, ingredient transparency—the twin practices of using easily identifiable ingredients and easily traceable ingredients—has emerged as a popular, meaningful way for companies to show millennials that their moral compasses are in synch.

Millennial parents are a vocal subset of the movement toward ingredient transparency and have sparked innovations in how their peers shop. The Honest Company was founded by concerned parents who wanted products for their homes and babies that were “made without potentially health-compromising chemicals or compounds.” Similarly, MightyNest curates natural, organic, and non-toxic products that range from mattresses to sunscreen—and was founded by a new parent who wanted to keep common chemicals away from her home and baby. Not only does MightyNest promise to bring its consumers “safe” products, but it also shares its vetting and product research processes on its website. By doing so, MightyNest practices the same kind of transparency it demands from its vendors; the site leads by example, showing millennials the ethically responsible behavior they want to see in a company they support.

Beautycounter was also created by a concerned parent who wanted to build a safer home for her children and herself. On their website, under the tab “transparency,”  Beautycounter gives comprehensive insight into how they create and source each of their cosmetics and body products.They go so far as to offer a complete “Never List” of ingredients they have entirely banned, which shows millennials—who tend to be skeptical of authority—that Beautycounter has nothing to hide. In addition to educating their consumers, their website showcases their alignment with millennial values, such as their promises to “learn constantly” and “source responsibly.” The brand further connects with millennials by inviting them to be a part of the process and actually become Consultants (i.e., sales representatives), recognizing that many millennials (especially millennial parents) are driven to be an active part of something that parallels their core values.

Interestingly, ingredient transparency isn’t limited to what we put into and on our bodies. UppaBaby just put a new spin on the concept of ingredient transparency when they launched their chemical-free, flame-resistant car seat. Their Henry MESA car seat uses merino wool to earn its title as the first and only car seat to pass federal safety standards without the use of chemicals. This innovation is especially noteworthy because it recognizes the millennial desire to understand and trust what’s in the products they buy, and embraces millennial parents’ determination to keep their children away from mysterious and potentially harmful ingredients.

Ingredient transparency encompasses both the importance of knowing what’s in the products we buy and how those products have been built. Millennials, and especially millennial parents, deeply value brands that have carefully sourced and crafted their products—and brands that prove they have nothing to hide. Establish credibility and build long-term loyalty with millennial parents by showing them how your products align with their ethical priorities and help them build a safer, healthier home.

Learn more about how you can connect your brand with millennial women and families.

This post was written by Ovia Insights’ contributing author, Emily Madden.