For a while now, we’ve been hearing about how Millennials are changing the work culture, but what about the food industry? Just like many other industries, Millennials have had a pretty big impact on how food is produced, marketed and sold. The end result is a food industry that’s constantly evolving.
The biggest thing that separates the food landscapes of millennials from other generations is health food and what that label actually means. Older generations were content to simply buy products at the store that had the word “healthy” or “low-fat” on the box. Millennials have raised the bar in terms of those expectations. Now it’s all about organic foods and those that contain no GMOs. In fact, almost 70% of Millennials will pay more for organic foods than non-organic. That translates into a pretty sizeable demand increase for those foods.
Local food producers have seen a pretty substantial increase in business thanks to Millennials. Millennials want to know exactly where their food is coming from. Some go so far as to grow the majority of their fruits and vegetables on their own in backyard or rooftop gardens. And this rule doesn’t just apply to their grocery shopping. Even when eating out, Millennials prefer locally sourced foods.
Speaking of eating out, the frequency at which Millennials eat out at restaurants is higher than that of older generations, too. Fifty years ago, only about 25% of consumers ate out for their meals. Today, that number has almost doubled. While not all of that increase can be contributed to Millennials, you can bet that they play a pretty large role in the increase.
Technology also makes it easier for restaurants to connect with Millennials. There are countless apps available to help consumers find healthy, sustainable dining options. Food aside, the prevalence of Wi-Fi-friendly eateries also appeals to younger generations, making it easier to eat while you work or play.
There’s no denying the impact that Millennials have had on the food industry but it’s still unknown just how far that impact reaches. It will likely affect things like health policies, economic planning and federal mandates. Only time will tell.