Have you noticed how food trends have shifted to diverse, mindful eating in the last decade? We can thank the millennial generation for these new dining habits. Everyone is entitled to healthy food, knowing where it comes from and how its made. With millennials making up 35 percent of the workforce by 2020, their dollars will shift the way the food industry does business. Here’s how they put their money where their mouths are.
Demand for Transparency and Truth
Scroll through Millennial mom blogs. The bulk of what you’ll read is a call for transparency on food labels and honesty from food manufacturers about how and where ingredients are sourced. Are pesticides sprayed? Are laborers paid fairly and getting time off? Everyone benefits from clearer food labels that educate.
Customization and Dietary Advocacy
Flat burgers with artificial fillers that grow mold over time — no, thanks! Move over drab fast food. Millennials are all about customizing that patty and anything else on the menu. Goodbye unhealthy Americans who love salted everything and sugary syrup drinks. Got dietary needs? You deserve to have those needs met. In fact, now you can get a handmade black bean patty, on a gluten-free bun with locally foraged mushrooms. Mindful eating means food offerings are more diverse and supplement individuals’ needs.
Convenience matters to Millennials, and quality shouldn’t be sacrificed in the process. Among Millennials, 55 percent say convenience is vital when purchasing food, while Boomers focus more on taste. You don’t need to slave in the kitchen for two hours after an eight-hour workday to get flavor.
Thank Millennials for the rise in food trucks, grocery and restaurant delivery services. As well as healthy and specialized meal kits. More grocery stores now offer dine-in and heat-to-eat options. It’s also not just limited to adults. Parents are choosing mindful eating habits for their children as well.
Healthy Now Means Sustainable
To be healthy is more than high-fiber and low-fat — millennials describe healthy food in terms of sustainability. Is it locally-sourced, natural and organic? Are the farming practices sustainable and eco-friendly?
If you want an organic bag of white quinoa, you will get an organic bag of white quinoa. You better be sure this Mother of All Grains will list where it’s from, how it was sourced and its benefits — such as being rich in B vitamins and protein and sourced from Peru. It’s gluten-free too y’all.
The trip to see family back home, or out to eat family-style, entails engorging yourself with large meals. Although many Millennials prefer to graze, instead of consuming bigger meals frequently and risking waste. This has also influenced the rise of convenient food options, such as resealable and portable items in the grocery store and food delivery services.
Eating gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan matters for health and environmental impact, but Millennials also acknowledge the importance of animal protein in one’s diet — 47 percent believe animal protein to be healthy compared to 26 percent of older populations. The rise of Millennials interested in animal protein health benefits has caused researchers to delve more deeply into the possibility.
Multicultural Food Diversity
Millennials are foodies and will try anything once — new flavors, vegetarian experiments and diverse ethnic cuisines. Forty-two percent describe themselves as multicultural and spend over $65 billion every year on diverse foods. This is one of the most diverse generations creating a multicultural food experience on everyone’s plate.
Although Millennials are stereotyped as whiny and entitled tech-obsessed folks who prefer avocado toast over saving for retirement, you can bet they know exactly where their toast and avocados come from — and it’ll be sustainable, with fair pay and treatment for laborers.
Millennials Value Mindful Eating
Shake a Millennial’s hand when you see more convenient, mindful and specialized diet friendly options in the market. Think of a Millennial when you try a new cuisine you’ve never heard of, for they are changing the food industry for the better. Keep whining for that good dining!