Fresh Food On-Demand

Farm-to-table is a phrase so ubiquitous among restaurants and eateries nowadays that it’s difficult for Millennial diners to decipher who is fully committed to fresh and local produce, and who is misusing the label. Products stamped as organic also have their drawbacks, sometimes not as healthy as expected and costing more than the average grocery shopper wants to spend at the checkout line. We asked in August 2013 what labels would make them more inclined to buy a product, and more than half would be influenced by local and all-natural call-outs compared to those labeled as organic.
 
The local and all-natural movement for food is evolving into the promise of freshness. Consumers are seeking out services that shrink the literal distance between farms and their own tables, focusing on seasonal offerings from local farmers as opposed to the big business of year-round, on-demand groceries funded by big agriculture. We’ve seen box subscription services like Blue Apron and Plated take off, founded on the principles of fresh food delivery and at-home meal preparation. New iterations on the fresh food experience are appealing to the Millennial palate by adding ingredients of sustainability, storytelling, and charity into the mix while keeping healthy options affordable. Here are three standouts attempting to bring farm-products and reliably healthy fare into Millennials’ homes, and to give them freshness on demand:
 
1. FreshRealm
Cross-country fresh food delivery has been a thing of dreams—until now. FreshRealm’s patent-pending food delivery system can make it happen with a container known as the Vessel, a refrigerated box that can house produce straight from the farm and be shipped anywhere within two days using the United States Postal Service. According to the company, 40% of all…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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