Eighty percent of Millennials value quality when it comes to food shopping, and nearly 70% are willing to spend more money on high quality foods, according to a Whole Foods Market survey. Nearly seven in 10 respondents spent more money on food than on travel in the past year.
The majority of Millennials want to know where their food comes from and how it is sourced. Transparency is important to over 65%, particularly for fresh meat and seafood, while more than half will pay more for products that adopt animal welfare standards and prefer to buy those responsibly sourced.
Additionally, more than 60% are aware of the implications their food choices have on the environment. Fifty percent actively seek out food and beverages made of less packaging and plastic.
Labeling and ingredient transparency are key factors in Millennials' choices. Sixty-nine percent of Millennials read labels more closely than they did five years ago and over 60% are more concerned about additives and growth hormones. Overall, fifty-one percent of millennials buy more organic products than they did five years ago.
The majority surveyed consider themselves to be "adventurous" eaters when it comes to food, and 62% make an effort to cook new dishes. More than half of Millennials try to eat healthy daily, with 63% trying to incorporate more plant-based and unprocessed foods into their diets.
Over the past year, nearly half tried a special diet, such as Keto and dairy-free. However, more than half found that maintaining an alternative diet is often inconvenient, making them more willing to pay for convenient, ready-made meals that are healthy and high quality.
Food brands are beginning to adapt to Millennial tastes and preferences, reported Fox Business (Aug. 27).
"It's a generation of 73 million so what the food companies are doing is saying 'we need to connect in some way, be a do-good company to this audience,'" said FOX Business Network's Lauren Simonetti.
An example of this was a new flavor introduced by StarKist. "They like to eat small quantities of things, snacks," Simonetti said. "They also like to indulge. So, StarKist, the tuna people, they came out with a red curry coconut flavor that they sell in a pouch—tuna fish in a pouch."
"Millennials have a holistic view toward health and we are addressing their needs by developing products that are less processed and have fewer artificial ingredients," said Chris Dixon, Sun-Maid's director of marketing, Core Raisin Portfolio.
Simonetti noted how cereal companies are feeling the crunch from Millennials eating habits. "General Mills, cereal, this is a tough one," she said. "You might feel alienated if you are young and you are in the cereal aisle, because it's all about 'heart healthy.' They're just going after the older generation."
However, though young people may not connect with the current targets of cereal-makers, there has been a trend of Millennials eating breakfast for dinner and snacking on cereal, rather than eating it in the morning, which could provide opportunity in the industry.
Victoria writes for the weekly Food Institute Report and the daily news update, Today in Food. Victoria graduated from Montclair State University with a B.A in Journalism and has a background in Nutrition and Food Science. She can be reached through her email at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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