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

Quote of the Day: “New wedding traditions I’ve noticed are the return of the wedding band (not just DJ), and weekend activities even if the wedding isn't a destination.”—Female, 30, DC

The election inspired Millennials to start reading (some) major newspapers again. According to a Pew Research Center study, 44% of 18-49-year-olds received their election news from The New York Times, 37% received it from The Washington Post, and 27% went to The Wall Street Journal—compared to 23%, 19%, and 15% of those 50 and older respectively. Local newspapers did not get as much love from the younger generation, with only 23% turning to them compared to 67% of older consumers. (Fortune)

How did Vans get on every “cool kid’s radar?” They have their exclusive Vault line to thank. In the early 2000s, the shoe line was struggling to reach young consumers with their classic styles, so they were reimagined with collaborator-inspired designs and sold in limited quantities at higher price points in partner stores only. The strategy was “a marketing exercise for boosting energy and brand affinity,” and helped bring the brand to international levels, most likely driving a 7% increase last quarter. (Glossy

PepsiCo reports that almost half of its revenue now comes from healthy foods. With young consumers not drinking sweet carbonated beverages the way they used to, the brand pledged to cut calories from their sugary drinks but has been moving at a “glacial pace.” Almost half of their revenue is now coming from their “guilt-free” product category, like Baked Lay’s and Naked juices, 25% from “everyday nutrition” like water and healthier snacks, and the brand is admitting soda is “becoming a smaller part of” their future. (Grub Street

An app bringing tech to pre-K just secured $10 million in venture funding. Brightwheel helps pre-K teachers and daycare providers manage their business, while updating parents on their child’s status throughout the day with photos and messages. Along with premium access, it is available for free with limited features which the founder hopes would appeal to lower income communities: “Something like 85% of brain development happens in the first 3 years of life…Access to good pre-K care is low in the US, we’re ranked 26th globally. And we think tech can help to change that.” (TechCrunch

Over nine in ten of Millennials say the post-grad job hunt was difficult. The insight from a recent Job Applicator Center study reflects employers’ tendency to hire skilled workers for entry-level positions while overlooking recent graduates. The study also found that 18-34-year-olds have already had 2.7 jobs on average and 41% only plan to be at their current job for two years or less—most likely because they are looking for employers who invest in them beyond just salaries and benefit packages. (Job Application Center

Quote of the Day: “I want my wedding to be authentic, joyful and audacious.”—Female, 30, NE

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