The Rise of Friendsgiving: How Millennials Have Invented Their Own Holiday

It has all the trimmings of a Thanksgiving feast, but none of the family drama. Welcome to the age of Friendsgiving. Millennials in the U.S. are embracing a new version of the fall tradition, gathering with friends for their own turkey feasts and creating their own holiday in the process. 30% of Millennials 13-24-years-old on Thumb told us that they celebrate Friendsgiving. The phrase has even made it to Urban Dictionary. The new holiday has taken over college campuses and urban friend groups alike, and is starting to become an important ritual for many Millennials.

The rules around Friendsgiving are not hard and fast. For some, the holiday replaces Thanksgiving, especially if they are stuck at home, in dorms, or abroad, and aren’t able to make it to their family festivities. Friendsgiving celebrations have been thriving on college campuses, where students might not have the time or money to travel. But for others, Friendsgiving is being added to their schedules in November in the weeks before or the days after their regular Thanksgivings. So if they are already getting their regularly scheduled serving of turkey and pie, why is Friendsgiving becoming a thing

It might sound like a cliché explanation, but Millennials’ group mentality probably has a lot to do with the new holiday. For them, friends aren’t just friends, but another form of family. As one student newspaper put it, “Not only does Friendsgiving give students the opportunity to be thankful for their second family at school, but it also removes the inevitable awkward moments that come with any family holiday…Have a Friendsgiving. Celebrate both of your families.” Friendsgiving solidifies a friend group or a clique and makes the people in that group feel special, and more like family. On top of that, the holiday is…

 
 
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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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