Growing Up In A Fast Food Nation

mcpretendingIn the latest Ypulse Monitor and Ypulse Report (see full summaries in our Research Roundup) we saw the enduring pull of young, hungry students to fast food joints, specifically those of the burger variety. Cheap, reliable and probably just off campus,  our research found nearly all (nine-out-of-10) college students and teens had gone to restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s in the past month, at a frequency of about four times a month/once a week. McDonald’s also came up as the #1 option for lunch, dinner, snacking (and increasingly even coffee!) spot for both demos. For all of the reasons stated above (price, reliability location), this trend isn’t a surprising one, but with rates of childhood and teen obesity staying at epidemic levels especially among low-income youth, it does raise some health concerns.

While “Happy Meals” and the like have undergone a healthful makeover as of late (apple “fries” instead of fries, milk instead of soda, etc.) for tweens/concerned parents, and older consumers are targeted with the contradiction in terms that is the “fast food diet,” teens and young adults get lost somewhere in between, lured instead by what’s tasty and cheap, i.e. the dollar menu-type items. While two out of three teens and college students reported going to the potentially healthier, sandwich shop chains like Subway or Quizno’s over the same period of time, the wide range of choices available still include poor picks like Quizno’s Tuna Melt, rated the number one unhealthiest sandwich of 2009. I also recalled a negative responses to the price difference of sandwich shops at the youth-hosted forum on childhood obesity I attended back in September and the “no duh” look students gave when considering the choice between a “$5 Footlong” and the wide variety of cheaper…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

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


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “A ‘foodie’ to me is someone who takes pictures of every meal and follows multiple food blogs and pins a lot of food pictures on Pinterest.” –Female, 17, TX

ABC Family wants to be there for young women 14-29-years-old as they “navigate the next step” in their lives. To do so, they’re doubling their original programming with both scripted and reality series in the coming years, and stepping away from “trash-talking, train-wreck reality TV shows” to focus on more aspirational content. To keep up with their socially engaged audience, who spends an average of three hours a day on mobile, they’re launching a revamped Watch ABC Family app this summer. (Adweek)

Online voters could put a transgender Millennial man on the cover of Men’s Health. The magazine’s “Ultimate Guy Search” looks for men that embody their ideals of health and wellness, and thanks to social media and a strong LGBTQ community, 27-year-old trans male Aydian Dowling is the competition frontrunner by a landslide. There are both judges and a “reader’s choice” component to deciding the winner. A 2014 Ypulse monthly survey found that 87% of Dowling’s generation believe that LGBT individuals should be able to live their lives without discrimination and judgment. (The Daily Beast)

Michael Kors seems to have captured the hearts of teen girls: 39% of average-income girls choose Kors as their preferred handbag, up from 7% in 2012, while previously beloved Coach fell from 46% to 17% in that same amount of time. Teen shoppers are a powerful and influential bunch, and they’ve brought Kors “to new highs.” However, when brands become ubiquitous, as Coach did and some think Kors could become soon, sales can slow, making room for “hard-charging upstarts” like Tory Burch and Kate Spade. (Bloomberg)

For some time now YouTubers have been garnering just as much popularity as Hollywood celebrities, and it’s beginning to pay off, big time. According to Outrigger Media, CharlisCraftyKitchen, the largest food and cooking YouTube channel, is bringing in an estimated $127,000 a month. We should mention that CharlisCraftyKitchen stars 8-year-old baker Charli and her 5-year-old sister, Ashlee. Their amateur videos are among the successful channels that are providing marketers with a “tidy revenue stream” as they continue to garner millions of views. (AdAgeBusiness Insider)

Disney is tapping into the next generation’s interest in STEM to promote their upcoming movie Tomorrowland. The Create Tomorrowland – XPRIZE Challenge is asking kids and teens to envision themselves in the future and share what inventions they think would be impactful. Starting next week, creative thinkers between the ages of eight and 17-years-old can submit videos, images, or stories about their imagined invention or innovation and the influence it could have. Six winners will receive prizes to help move their ideas forward in real life, like a mentorship with a leader in their area of interest and a 3D Printer. (XPRIZE Challenge)

If you haven’t already noticed, Millennials care about their food. 47% consider themselves “foodies,” and 89% say that they’re open to trying new foods. How do we know? It’s not telepathy. Every other week, we reach out to our Millennial panel of over 60,000, asking 1,000 13-32-year-olds about current events, seasonal trends, changing attitudes, and new norms. The results of these monthly survey results are delivered to our Gold subscribers, and can be downloaded from our site. (Ypulse)

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