5 New Food Trends Earning End-of-Year Buzz

New food trends are still brewing, sweeping social feeds, and capturing Millennials’ and Gen Z’s attention, in the last weeks of 2017…

We’ve covered lot of buzzed about, and Instagrammable, food trends this year, from goth ice cream to lattes poured into avocados (aka avolattes). And of course, foodie favorite avocado toast went from mere trending menu item to an international discussion point in the ongoing debate about Millennial spending. Food fads not only have the power to create cultural touchpoints amongst young consumers, they’re also a topic of endless fascination. Our post on the 10 food trends Millennial foodies want to try most was one of our most clicked of the year, and the list included some of 2017’s most popular food fads/innovations, from sushi burritos and donuts to rainbow foods. But 2017 isn’t over yet.

We’re seeing some new food trends take over social feeds and headlines in the last weeks of the year. Here are five new foodie fads, big and small, sweeping social feeds, making headlines, and earning end-of-year buzz:

1. Fake Meat

Fake meat sales reportedly are soaring, thanks to young consumers. According to Business Insider, young adults and teens are embracing alternatives to meat and seafood, and the sales of plant-based meat are expected to surpass $5 billion by 2020. Gen Z told Ypulse they’re interested in vegan diets, and businesses are cropping up to cater to their plant-based nutrition needs. Impossible Foods is selling a veggie burger that bleeds to college campuses and beloved burger restaurants alike, while New Wave Foods and Ocean Hunger Foods’ seafood alternatives are getting more attention. We’ve followed the rising popularity of The Impossible Burger—a vegetarian burger that bleeds—calling out Impossible as a food pioneer who could change the…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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