4 Millennial Food Pioneers: Insight from Millennial 20/20

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

These Millennial culinary innovators could change how their generation eats, are sparking major trends, and shaping the future of food…

This month, we’re sharing insights we learned while on the first two days of March, which we spent hanging with the movers and shakers of the youth marketing scene at the Millennial 20/20 conference in New York. We heard players across industries talking about how Millennials are changing the way that we all do business—including some Millennial pioneers of the food industry, who are using their unique personal histories and perspectives to innovate, disrupt and redesign what we eat and how it’s made.

As we stated a year ago in our coverage of the Food+Tech Connect event: “the Millennial vision of the food industry can be best described as a total rejection of the consumer packaged goods industry as we currently know it.” At Millennial 20/20, we caught up with a few of the food industry innovators that we met last year, and discovered some exciting new players radically reshaping what we eat. Riding a wave of Millennial consumer demand, these companies are rising to the challenge, creating healthy and sustainable food options. Here’s what we heard from Impossible Foods, Imperfect Produce, Exo, and Back to the Roots at the NYC Millennial 20/20 summit:

The Name Says It All: Impossible Foods

Chief Strategy Officer Nick Halla has been with Impossible Foods from the outset, and told the brands’ story to a packed audience at the conference. The company began over five years ago, when Stanford University medical researcher Dr. Pat Brown took a sabbatical to contemplate how he could have the greatest impact on the world for the remainder of his career. He formed Impossible Foods to answer the question: “how do we feed the world today, given the scaling…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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