As the Millennial generation has matured during the past few years and entered the consumer arena, they’ve significantly reinvented food consumerism to meet their penchants for convenience, sustainability, and quality. As happens with every generation, several of the food trends they’ve embraced are likely to evolve from fad to classic status going forward into the 21st century. Following are five Millennial food trends that will probably be sticking around for quite some time.
Meals in a Bowl
Whether they’re from a food truck, a convenience store aisle, a favorite cafe or coffee shop, or prepared in the home kitchen, meals in a bowl are hits with younger consumers. They’re easier to eat when out and about, they’re nutrient-dense as well as tasty and work well for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the home kitchen, they also mean less post-meal cleanup. Bowl meals also provide an excellent way to use up leftover ingredients.
The supermarket used to be the grocery shopping venue of choice for the vast majority of consumers — in fact, it could have been argued at one point whether the average home cook could actually put quality meals on the table without visiting the supermarket on a regular basis. Then the old tradition of community-based farmers markets resurfaced, opening the door to other alternative food vendors, and after throwing online food purchase options into the mix, the average millennial shops at supermarkets far less than those of previous generations. Instead, they’re hitting up food carts, specialty markets, and even convenience stores.
Millennials are also more mindful of the wellness benefits of eating a nutritious diet than their historical counterparts. They want less sugar, fat, and sodium, and they aren’t willing to sacrifice flavor for healthier fare. This preference for solid sustenance rather than empty calories extends to snack foods as well as meals.
Millennials are also more likely to naturally gravitate toward a grazing style of eating rather than sitting down to three meals per day, which has earned them a reputation for being the most snack-loving generation in history. However, they aren’t going for the same type of snack foods their parents and grandparents loved — instead of being viewed as occasional treats with no nutritional value, Millennials see snacks as nourishment, factoring in nutritional value when making purchasing decisions.
Millennials want to know where their food came from, how it was grown or produced, and what’s in it. Transparency begins with labeling as the first point of contact between the consumer and the product. Labels of the past were often viewed as afterthoughts by food and beverage producers, but this generation of consumers is far more likely than others to read labels and look for specific nutrition facts as well as sustainability and sourcing information. Bright labels with optimal visual accessibility and clear language help develop brand trust and consumer awareness.
Please feel free to contact our food packaging consultant for more information on making your product appealing to Millennial consumers.