The Millennial Meal Plan

Today's post comes from Ypulse team member Gwen Radsch.

The Millennial Meal Plan

Food ArticleAs the US Census has frequently reported, the Millennial generation is extremely diverse. With this diversity comes an exposure to many different cultures, including traditional, and not-so-traditional, cuisine. International is becoming local and the flavors of every country have never been so easy to find as they are today. For example, in our Lifeline Report on Food and Beverage habits among Millennials conducted earlier this year, we found that 33% consume rice, almond, or soy milk at least occasionally. These types of milks were pretty rare not too long ago, but now a full third of Millennials consider them a standard part of their diet.

Millennials are approaching food and meals in a very different way; it is less about just grabbing a bite and more about creating a memory. A quick look at Instagram, Pinterest, or the many Tumblrs devoted to food will show you that this generation doesn’t just expect a meal at the dinner table, but rather to have an influential experience. Fully 1 in 5 (21%) Millennials report that they have attended a food festival which shows how food has evolved into more than just calories, but instead evokes a communal experience that was once reserved for music and Star Trek.

Recently, much has been made of the fact that Millennials are less brand loyal than Boomers when it comes to food purchases. It is possible that the economy is impacting whether this generation is willing to pay extra for a brand name, but given that they are in a highly experimental time in their lives, many of them cooking for themselves for the first time, it is more likely they haven’t figured out which aisle in the supermarket fits them best. The critical question, however, is do they even…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

“I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I prefer using my creativity to come up with an uncommon or personalized costume to wearing a mass-produced costume that won't be unique to me.” –Male, 24, CA

One entrepreneur has a big idea to change charity fundraising as we know it—and she’s only 10-years-old. Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand for charity in 2012 that has turned into Make A Stand lemonade, a family company that donates 5% of each sale. Now, the Harrs are launching StandApp, a mobile platform for donating to and starting crowdfunded social good projects. Twitter’s founders have invested in the app, which tells users they can “make a stand and change the world in 3 steps and 30 seconds.” (Fast Company)

Vice media has established themselves as creators of online content that speaks to young consumers, and now they will launch a global, 24 hour TV network for their Millennial audience. The brand’s Vice News has gotten a reputation for tackling some of the biggest international stories before much more established news organizations, and CEO Shane Smith warned traditional media outlets that as the generation ages up, they will become obsolete, and sites like Vice and BuzzFeed are “the changing of the guard.” (The IndependentThe Drum)

Posting calories counts on menus isn’t necessarily making consumers choose healthier options, but a new study has found that if told what they would have to do to burn off those calories, teens are less likely to buy higher calorie or sugary drinks. When signs were posted in stores telling buyers things like, “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 5 miles of walking,” 40% of 12-18-year-olds who saw them said they changed their drink choice as a result. Even after the signs were removed these teens continued to make healthier choices. (Washington Post)

Italian clothing label Brandy Melville has reportedly become “one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens,” but the company is not interested in selling to everyone: they sell most items only in size small. Abercrombie & Fitch has famously lost ground with young consumers thanks to their similarly exclusionary practices, and some teens are expressing their dissatisfaction on Melville’s Instagram, where they are asking for sizes that “fit all.” (Tech Times)

Many Millennials don’t trust banks (or any other large institutions) but it could be that financial organizations are missing a big opportunity with the generation. Adweek’s recent study found that 18-24-year-olds are more likely than other consumers to say they would trust a financial institution more if they provided helpful, unbiased content. But only 20% of respondents felt that these institutions are currently posting interesting articles. (Adweek)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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