Are you a millennial? If you were born between 1982 and 2004 chances are you are. This generation is currently influencing many aspects of our economy, and the food industry is no different.
Millennials have different food priorities than previous generations and are focused on consuming foods that are good-for-you. This is causing manufacturers to think about the definition of “good for you” from the consumer side. In comparison to this young generation, older shoppers tend to believe good-for-you foods have lower calories and fat content, as well as less sodium and added sugars. Millennials are more interested in factors such as clean labels and easy-to-read ingredients. They want no artificial additives and like things such as functional packaging and on-the-go snack foods. In addition to this, they are interested in the story behind their food, particularly what is in their food and where it was made. Many brands and restaurants have started incorporating this information into their advertisements.
Mintel, a market intelligence agency, states “42 percent of millennial shoppers perceive private label store brands as more innovative than branded products.” They also report that “store brand shoppers are gravitating towards products that list ingredients they recognize, and feature prominent claims such as organic, low/no/reduced or made with natural ingredients.”
Millennials like clean labels and easy-to-read ingredients, and are judging food by its cover. They not only have a different definition of “good for you” then the older shoppers, they also eat differently. The millennial diet consists of smaller portions and does not include three big meals a day much like the baby boomer’s diet.
Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership for IRI states, “consumers can’t get enough of that protein filled, on-the-go snack and meal time replacement.” Millennials and Gen-Xers have more active lifestyles then those before supporting Viamari’s statement. An on-the-go snack option gives them the ability to refuel during breaks in their busy schedules.
According to trend watchers, “35 percent of Millennial meals are really snacks.”
Millennials have been labeled the “foodie generation” and will soon have the power to outspend the boomer generation, which is why so many manufactures are paying attention to the attitudes and behaviors millennials have toward food.
What do you look for in your food labels?