Millennial Foodies Sound Off: The 16 Biggest Food Trends They’re Interested In

We asked 400 13-33-year-olds foodies to tell us the food trends they’ve been most interested in lately…

According to our recent monthly survey on young consumers’ food behaviors and interests, 42% of 13-33-year-olds, and 46% of 25-33-year-olds consider themselves foodies. As we’ve covered before, this generation’s passion for food has shifted industries and continues to create new opportunities.

Eater recently reported that while The Great Recession caused financial instability, it didn’t stop “foodie” culture. While dining-out expenditures dipped slightly between 2007 to 2008, they quickly rebounded in 2012, even though income levels had not. Although Millennials especially felt the effects of the recession, they have been linked to the “sustainability of the ‘foodie’ ideology.” To get through the financial crises, young consumers opted to spend on experiences instead of expensive material goods like houses or cars. As a result, food has become a  new status symbol and a form of social currency.  

There is plenty of evidence that shows that young consumers have shaped food culture as we know it, and continue to fuel the trends that are remaking the food industry. To find out what food shifts brands might need to know about next, we asked 400 Millennial foodies to tell us the biggest food trend they’ve been interested in recently. It’s worth noting that these are self-identified foodies, and the fact that almost half of 13-33-year-olds consider themselves a foodie says something about the mainstreaming of food culture. While some Millennial and teen foodies are undoubtedly aware of some cutting edge trends, the most-mentioned food trends are more likely those that are a bit more mainstream—or about to go mainstream. These are the trends that brands should be considering when they…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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