Growing Up In A Fast Food Nation

mcpretendingIn the latest Ypulse Monitor and Ypulse Report (see full summaries in our Research Roundup) we saw the enduring pull of young, hungry students to fast food joints, specifically those of the burger variety. Cheap, reliable and probably just off campus,  our research found nearly all (nine-out-of-10) college students and teens had gone to restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s in the past month, at a frequency of about four times a month/once a week. McDonald’s also came up as the #1 option for lunch, dinner, snacking (and increasingly even coffee!) spot for both demos. For all of the reasons stated above (price, reliability location), this trend isn’t a surprising one, but with rates of childhood and teen obesity staying at epidemic levels especially among low-income youth, it does raise some health concerns.

While “Happy Meals” and the like have undergone a healthful makeover as of late (apple “fries” instead of fries, milk instead of soda, etc.) for tweens/concerned parents, and older consumers are targeted with the contradiction in terms that is the “fast food diet,” teens and young adults get lost somewhere in between, lured instead by what’s tasty and cheap, i.e. the dollar menu-type items. While two out of three teens and college students reported going to the potentially healthier, sandwich shop chains like Subway or Quizno’s over the same period of time, the wide range of choices available still include poor picks like Quizno’s Tuna Melt, rated the number one unhealthiest sandwich of 2009. I also recalled a negative responses to the price difference of sandwich shops at the youth-hosted forum on childhood obesity I attended back in September and the “no duh” look students gave when considering the choice between a “$5 Footlong” and the wide variety of cheaper…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “The best part about driving is the control of when, how, and where you go. The worst part is that there is a lot of responsibility in your hands, especially if you are with your family.” -Female, 32, TX

We’ve told you before that Millennials are turning to new tools that let them harness their own data for their own personal benefit and enjoyment. The new app Pplkpr (pronounced “people keeper”) does just that, using a combination of tracked body metrics and self-reporting to determine which friends make users happy, and which have a negative impact on them. Using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, the app measures physical response while one is hanging out with friends, learning over time which friends create anxiety, boredom, excitement, and concluding whether or not a friend is toxic. The app’s creators say Pplkpr was created partly as a criticism for the decisions we allow data to make for us, but there is clearly some interest around the idea. (Huffington PostMashable)

Gaming is becoming more and more mobile as major consoles “unplug” from TV. Microsoft has announced that Xbox One players can enjoy gameplay on any Widows 10 device, including tablets and PCs. The announcement “completes the trifecta” of consoles that have taken steps to include off-TV play. Yes, TV screens are biggest, but TV's communal nature is not necessarily appealing to gamers when many games are solitary pursuits. “We’re gravitating towards the personal” and TVs immobility can make it less convenient—in both gaming and entertainment streaming. (Wired

Meet Elena, Disney’s first ever Latina princess. Elena will have her own show on Disney Junior set to air in 2016, and is inspired by "diverse Latin cultures and folklore." Disney announced that a Latina heroine was in the works after some confusion and criticism arose over the ethnicity of the (now extremely popular) character Sofia the First. Though Elena’s premiere is some time off, it is clear that many communities are happy to see Disney embracing diversity in their characters and shows. (BuzzFeed)

YouTube celebrities are getting more than deals for their own web series, TV shows, and movies: the trend of YouTube authors is growing. Although some have questioned the vloggers’ capabilities as writers, recent books published by YouTube stars have seen unexpected successes. Grace’s Heibig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Upeven became a New York Times bestseller. It was just announced that four top YouTubers will even host their own session at BookCon, the largest literary event for authors, publishers, and readers. Justine Ezarik, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta and Joey Graceffa will speak about their new literary efforts with Keywords Press, an Atria Books imprint specially created for online video stars and their fans. (StreamDaily)

Reebok is leaving out celebrity athletes and making everyday young fitness enthusiasts the stars of their new marketing campaign, “Become More Human,” which focuses on the “new brand of athlete.” The first spot features footage of normal people pushing themselves physically, and includes shots of extreme races that Millennials have embraced. The campaign goes beyond commercials with a #BreakYourSelfie Instagram initiative and the “Be More Human Experience,” an interactive website that helps users to compare their physical traits against other members. (The Drum)

Infographics make even complex data easy to understand and quick to digest. Our Gold and Silver subscribers are given access to our regularly published informative Infographic Snapshots: data visualizations that take our proprietary bi-weekly survey stats and synthesize them to tell a story about this generation’s behaviors and views. From political stances to social media use to spending, we illustrate how many, how much, and how often, making sure you know exactly where your Millennial target audience stands.
(Ypulse)

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