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

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

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