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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies