As marketers set their sights on understanding and capturing the emerging Generation Z market, it might seem that the allure of the once-coveted Millennial dollar is beginning to wane. However, discounting the importance of Millennial spending habits while chasing after the shiny, new Gen Z audience would be a grave misstep for any brand, especially in the food and beverage space.

The Millennial generation dedicates the highest percentage of its income to food and beverages — more than any other generation. And that market is very sizable, meaning food brands still have a massive opportunity if they can give Millennials what they want, where they want it. Millennials are also expected to become the biggest spending power on groceries and restaurants in the next 10 years, so brands that understand Millennial food trends and know how to capitalize on them now will continue to prosper in the future.

The Most Important Millennial Food-Buying Trends

First and foremost, Millennials care deeply about how their purchasing habits impact the world around them, and they want to support brands that directly address environmental concerns with sustainable products. This desire extends to the eating habits of Millennials. Organic, clean, and sustainable products led growth in the sustainability category in stores, with these products set to make up 25% of total store sales by 2021, according to Nielsen.

This growth can be directly attributed to Millennial food trends, given the fact that about 75% of this cohort has changed its purchasing habits due to environmental concerns — compared to only 34% of Baby Boomers. Millennials also report a greater willingness to reach deeper into their pockets and spend more for products made from ingredients that are “sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic or natural, or socially responsible.

This nationwide community of Millennials, most of whom want to buy food and beverage products that champion sustainability, opens up the door for brands to implement new marketing strategies that resonate with these values.

How Food Brands Can Reach Millennials

Community PR represents one such new paradigm in brand marketing in that it recognizes the fact that traditional, physically bound locations are no longer the biggest determinant of what an individual will value. In an age dominated by online community building, community PR tactics deviate from brands’ traditional local marketing strategies and move toward the digital localities where Millennial consumers feel at home.

Take, for example, nonalcoholic spirit brand Seedlip. The company’s “Story” page on its website speaks directly to these Millennial food and beverage trends by appealing to the community that’s risen around supporting sustainable, natural, and environmentally friendly brands — regardless of their physical locations.

By citing the fact that the brand was founded on the idea of combining the founder’s love for farming heritage and nature and that the peas, the main ingredient, are “picked from the family farm,” Seedlip demonstrates that it’s deeply attuned to the community it’s targeting. And it seems to have worked very well for Seedlip, as its first 1,000 bottles sold out within three weeks, the next 1,000 in three days, and the following run within half an hour.

Seedlip’s story demonstrates that when brands take the time to understand the community they’re trying to reach, it can pay off in a big way. Don’t discount Millennials — they’re still a major opportunity for many brands. Food and beverage brands especially should tune into Millennials’ desire for more sustainable, eco-friendly foods and reach them through the communities to which they belong.