Why Purpose is the Key Ingredient to Your Food Brand


We are in the middle of a major change in how and why consumers connect with products. Particularly within the food industry, brands with clarity in purpose are popping up everywhere and financially outperforming those without. As the economy shifts and Millennials and Gen Z start taking on leadership positions in food-based corporations around the world, a new trend is underway and it's not just about clean ingredients. 


Hot off my visit to FounderMade's Consumer Discovery Show in NYC where emerging brands in food, health and beauty gather to mingle with top influencers, buyers and people like me (trade professionals), plus a visit to the Heart Series event in Los Angeles a month ago, I can't help but take notice of the outliers. I'm talking about brands who not only have a solid customer base of die hard fans, but who seem to have a better product, happier team members, and a sense of self that makes them a force to be reckoned with. Brands like This Bar Saves Lives have gone as far as building their purpose into their business model, offering a 1-for-1 match where every bar purchased donates a snack bar or life-saving nutrient to a child in need. 

It pays to stand for something. In a recent study, Gallup found that when purpose and product were aligned, customers gave nearly twice as much "wallet-share" as when these factors didn't align. More and more consumers are connecting with brands that connect with causes like solving world hunger, promoting body-positivity, and encouraging ethical practices in production.

The effects of digging deeper into 'your why' go further than your bank account too. According to Aaron Hurst, entrepreneur and author of the book, “The Purpose Economy,” Millennials are driven by purpose, with 84% of them seeking purposeful work. With Millennials representing 75% of the workforce by 2025, it's worth looking at what will motivate them. Companies that hope to retain top talent and create a dynamic work culture should shift their focus from ping pong tables and nap pods, and focus more on engaging employees by clearly communicating their utopian vision of a better world and showing them how their work contributes to that vision.


So what does it mean to be purpose-driven?

Purpose is the difference between managing people and resources, and mobilizing them. It's not about just having the right packaging or messaging. It's about getting in touch with a bigger vision and well-aligned brand identity. Setting some truths or core values about your company and actually sticking to them. Determining the vision that you're working towards (beyond just the success of your company), and rallying your team, customers and stakeholders around that vision so they feel invested in your brand enough to choose you over the competition.

Need to get in touch with your bigger vision, values, or purpose? Work with us! 

Robyn Young