The Snickers maker commissioned a poll of 1,000 Americans aged over 18 by email invitation and online survey between Thursday June 15 and Wednesday June 21, 2017.
The poll by Wakefield Research found 52% Millennials say they bought a treat because they wanted to share a picture of it on social media.
‘Digitally native’ Millennials and unicorn food
Mars said in a report of its findings the result was unsurprising for consumers who grew up on Facebook and Instagram and are considered digitally native.
“Savvy marketers are responding to Millennials’ desire to share on social: consider, for example, the rise of unicorn food,” it said.
Starbucks, for example, last year introduced a color and flavor changing Unicorn Frappuccino to seize on the social media trend.
Respondents to Mars’ survey said they choose a treat based mainly on taste (85%), while cost is a secondary concern, with less than half of the respondents reporting price as a key consideration.
“Interestingly, the reasons why people treat themselves vary across generations,” said Mars.
Millennials are more likely to indulge in a treat as a reward for an accomplishment than other age groups, said the Skittles maker.
Millennials are also likelier to consider brand loyalty when purchasing compared to older generations, it said.
Around half of Millennials (47%) said they choose a treat to boost their mood, compared with 36% of Gen X’ers and 28% of baby boomers.
Other results of Mars’ survey for all age groups included: