Do Millennials Still Matter to the Food Industry?
The food industry is always evolving. We’ve seen it adapt to economic changes, a worldwide pandemic, countless food trends, and a few demographic shifts — notably the shift to accommodate millennials. In fact, responding to the needs of millennials has been a major topic of conversation in the food industry for years. What do they want? Where are they spending money? And what’s the deal with avocado toast?
At this point, you might be wondering, “Do millennials still matter?” After all, Gen Z is right on their tail and ready to change the world. But, for the most part, Gen Z is still in school, and right now, there are some 88 million millennials living, working, and dining out in the United States with a total spending power of $30.2 billion.
So, yes, millennials are still changing the food industry and what they want matters (hint: it’s convenience, quality, and sustainability).
Cooking Is Great…Especially When Someone Does It for You
Americans love to eat at restaurants. But millennials are in a category of their own. They are the generation most likely to eat at a restaurant instead of home. A USDA study shows that in a given month, millennials eat 2.3 percent of their meals at a restaurant and allocate more of their budget to prepared food.
Make It Snappy
Millennials were a driving force behind the meal delivery service craze (i.e. Blue Apron and HelloFresh). These services offer regional, seasonal, and organic options delivered straight to consumers’ doors, but they only save time at the store, not the time spent actually preparing the food.
Convenience stores are picking up where meal delivery services left off by offering heat-and-eat prepared foods. Fine casual and fast casual restaurants are satisfying the demand for quick and convenient meals by increasingly offering mobile ordering and delivery.
Healthy, Fresh, and Organic
Fast doesn’t always mean unhealthy and millennials are keen to frequent establishments that are still healthy and/or organic. According to the Organic Trade Association, a majority of those who purchase organic are millennials (52%).
More Interesting Kids’ Menus
Many millennials are parents in their 30s and 40s now, and the healthy, organic food they want for themselves, they also want for their kids. Gone are the days of bland, unhealthy kids’ menus. Today’s options are increasingly healthier and more interesting.
According to Nielsen, 75 percent of millennials are eco-conscious to the point of changing their buying habits to favor environmentally friendly products. And the majority of millennials say they are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Eco-conscious brands are winning over Gen X and millennials with authentic sustainability initiatives.
Sustainability might not be top of mind for every restaurant operator. It doesn’t have to be. Our end-to-end cooking oil management solution takes care of it for you with an unmatched bulk cooking oil recycling program that reduces waste and transforms your used cooking oil into something beneficial — helping you meet sustainability goals and build your business’s reputation with guests of all ages.