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…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I like Netflix because it helps to pass the time, especially when I'm doing something boring such as folding clothes.”

—Female, 16, IL

Sephora is stepping up its mobile efforts to create “addictive shopping experiences." To re-launch their private label the Sephora Collection, the beauty brand took a page from dating app Tinder, introducing a feature that allows users to browse looks and swipe left to pass, or swipe right to buy from Sephora.com. Eventually, they hope to add more “user-generated” looks with consumers’ photos. They also added the “beauty uncomplicator," a tool that helps users “whittle through thousands of makeup and beauty tools to find what they're looking for,” by filling in the blanks like Mad Libs. (Adweek

Barbie’s image makeover seems to have made a positive impression. The once-struggling franchise has seen 11% year-to-date gains and a recent 23% sales increase, despite Mattel’s other girl brands experiencing losses. Mattel credits the iconic doll’s new content marketing for its “better-than-expected earnings.” The “You Can Be Anything” campaign launched last fall, focusing on empowering and inspiring girls, and including unscripted video content aimed at Millennial parents to increase confidence in the brand and appeal to their desire for purpose-driven toys. (MediaPost

Not even alcohol can escape the “healthifying” movement. Alcohol brands are expanding their product lines to include “a host of gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, all-natural, low- and no-alcohol drinks,” to cater to the Millennials and their increasing desire for healthier and “free-from” products. Non-alcoholic beverages that look still look “adult” have also taken off, as more young consumers are choosing to drink less. Diageo, the world’s largest spirits maker, is testing dairy and gluten-free Baileys liqueur, launching a Smirnoff vodka made with real fruit juice, and recently invested in Seedlip, a nonalcoholic distilled “spirit.” (MarketWatch

Young consumers want their financial institutions to be mobile. According to the 2016 FIS Consumer Banking PACE Index, 81% of Millennials are accessing their accounts on a computer or laptop, and 63% are accessing on their mobile phones on a monthly basis. They are 30% less likely than Baby Boomers to visit a bank location or use a drive-thru, and are 17% more likely to pay a bill from their bank through a mobile device. It’s crucial for banks to adapt to their needs—especially as over seven in ten Millennials with bank accounts anticipate at least one financial-focused life event to occur over the next 36 months. (Mashable

Over six in ten Millennials would rather lose their cars than their phones, according to a recent Wall Street study. The research looked into the attitudes and investment preferences of wealthy 18-35-year-olds globally to “restructure how the firm communicates with clients and prospects in the future.” The study also found that 50% of wealthy Millennials say they are “politically unaffiliated,” and 61% are worried about the state of the world and feel responsible for making a difference. Wall Street’s biggest challenge might be their “quick trigger” on underperforming mutual funds, with less than 20% saying they would hold on to one for more than a year. (Breitbart

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— Female, 22, CA

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