Enough on Millennials Already, Maybe

The Lempert Report
March 27, 2017

A new report discusses Millennials and the food industry.

Markets insights firm Maru/Matchbox released a new report The Future of Food:Are You Ready for the Millennials, on the major influences of millennials on the food industry which include:

  • Millennials have a passion for premium. This group differs from other generations in that they are more likely to expect features traditionally seen as premium. Some of these preferences include: 61% of millennials expect foods to be GMO-free, compared to 46% of those aged 50+. Others are more surprising, such as 54% of millennials also expect ancient grain to be included in their foods, compared to 29% aged 50+.
  • Millennials put their money where their mouth is. Not only do they expect premium products, they are willing to pay for them, too. This is because 'organic' and 'natural' products make millennials feel more responsible and health conscious, and therefore deserving of a higher price. 68% of millennials are willing to pay more for organic foods, and 66% are willing to pay more for sustainable foods 3/4 that's around 30% more than those aged 55+.
  • Millennials trust small and local. Smaller brands have been gobbling up half the growth in premium sales because millennials associate them more with premium product features and ingredients. 35% of millennials indicate their trust in smaller brands has grown while only 18% of those aged 55+ said the same.
  • Millennials prize choice & convenience. Millennials are the first native-to-the-Internet generation, so no wonder 43% say they would buy all of their food online if they could, compared to only 14% aged 50+.  
  • Millennials actively share their food interests on social media. Preferences and expectations are one thing, but millennials are also great evangelists for the things they love on social media, and their sharing augments the influence of the trends they drive. For example, 69% of millennials take a photo or video of their meal before eating, essentially creating a free spotlight on the brands or restaurants they choose to feature.

Matt Kleinschmit, managing director, consumer & shopper insights at Maru/Matchbox says that "The impact of this emergent generation continues to grow as they advance in their careers and become more established, and their habits are dramatically reshaping the food industry”. I guess we still need to learn more about this food-focused generation.