Millennials are “the match that lit the fire” of profound change in the food industry, said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer of BrandHive, a Salt Lake City-based marketing firm. In addition to driving demand for transparency and authenticity, millennial consumers are influencing other generations to follow suit.

“I know a lot of boomers who take cues from their kids, the millennials,” Mr. Hilton told Food Business News. “I call it ‘downward aspirations.’”

Traditional marketing may continue to resonate with older generations, but a company must adjust its approach to effectively speak to millennials, Mr. Hilton said.

“A lot of traditional companies have been marketing to boomers all these years and think they can talk to millennials the same way, but you really have to rethink your approach to millennials and kind of reinvent your brand a little bit if you want to attract that audience,” he said.

During an interview at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition held July 16-19 in Chicago, Mr. Hilton discussed what he calls the five “C”s of modern branding.

“The reason we have the five ‘C’s is to help clients who are more traditional to embrace a broader approach to marketing, one that’s more inclusive of a millennial audience because, let’s face it, that’s the up-and-coming consumer we’re all going to be talking to… they’re going to be our core consumer the next decade and a half.”

The five ‘C’s are Concept, Content, Connection, Community, and Continuity. Learn more about each of these at Food Business News.