Conscience seems to be driving the eating and shopping trends that the Millennials are setting. From increasing fresh food consumption and healthy snacking to supporting organic food production and lower food waste initiatives, this younger generation is willing to pay more to follow their heart.
Global information company, The NPD Group, reports that in-home fresh food consumption percentages are back up to levels seen over 30 years ago.
“When looking at typical behaviors of Americans across the past 30 years, the consumption of fresh foods and beverages increases with age as consumers gain more cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen. It would seem Millennials’ heightened levels of fresh consumption could represent a sizeable shift in the way consumers prepare foods for decades to come,” quoted NPD’s Food and Beverage Industry Analyst, Darren Seifer in a recent press release. The release went on to say that younger adults, ages 18 to 34, are the main drivers of the shift to fresh foods and beverages.
Although the article did say that appearance was an influential motivation for the healthier eating habits, the shift might also be in part due to the fact that these Millennials are beginning to have children which might make them even more concerned about what they buy and feed their families.
Increased trends in eating frequency are also being driven by the Millennials. Snacking in-between meals has increased significantly. Many of these younger consumers snack four or more times per day. According to a Mintel report (a market intelligence agency), the millennial generation snacks to stay focused throughout the day, with 39% snacking for energy. iGen/millennials are drawn to organic snacks and products with added nutrition, including protein and vitamins.
In addition to eating more fresh and healthy foods, the Millennials are concerned about food waste. They have grown up with the slogan, ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ and rather than being an inconvenience it is their way of life. Many associations and organizations have banded together, creating alliances to solve the food waste problem; the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, is one such organization that includes the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Restaurant Association and the Food Marketing Institute. The younger generation has also jumped on board creating a number of applications to redistribute food waste using the digital framework with which they are familiar.
Food Cowboy, is a web-based app that matches truckers with needy shelters. CropMobster notifies its registered members (a free service) of local food excess and surplus from any supplier in the food chain. AmpleHarvest.org works with over 7189 food pantries nationwide telling growers where and when they might deliver excess or damaged produce.
These are just a few of the examples of solutions Millennials have developed in order to eat and live according to their convictions.
“U.S. Consumers Are Eating Nearly As Much Fresh Foods As 30 Years Ago.” U.S. Consumers Are Eating Nearly As Much Fresh Foods As 30 Years Ago. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2015. <https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2015/us-consumers-are-eating-nearly-as-much-fresh-foods-as-30-years-ago/>.
“Does This Article Bore You? Have a Snack.” CSPnet. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2015. <http://www.cspnet.com/category-news/snacks-candy/articles/does-article-bore-you-have-snack>.