The Food Rush: Delivering High End Plates On Demand

Millennials are seeing food as the new status symbol, and expecting everything on demand. The combination is leading to a new market of tech companies rushing to fulfill their foodie needs.

In our Ypulse Quarterly report trend spotlight, we told you that food is becoming the new status symbol. 52% of Millennials 21-32-years-old would rather go to a food festival than a music festival, and 61% of Millennials ages 21-24 would rather have dinner at a new restaurant than buy a new pair of shoes. Food has been a fixation for the generation for years, but now it’s also becoming a way to show that they are worldly, interesting, and having a coveted experience. Today, sharing a picture of expensive cheeses, a pricey lobster roll eaten on a Tuesday, or a VIP sweet is the equivalent of saying, “I’m so fancy,” and inviting social envy the way a nice bag or jewelry would have ten years ago. As food experiences climb up the wishlists of Millennials, they’re looking for new and easier ways to access them.

At the same time, Millennials are changing the way that luxury is defined: it can mean rarity, convenience, ease of access, material sourcing—all separate from that age-old notion of expense and pretense. Having a smaller indulgent moment in their everyday lives is a part of that blurring definition.

So young consumers are looking for moments of luxury in their everyday and are looking to food to fill that gap. They’ve also been trained to expect things on demand. Seamless has made the concept of clicking a button to order a meal a natural part of their lives; apps like Uber are taking that on-demand expectation even further with car-services that arrive on the touch of a screen. (Uber has even hinted that their future could be in delivering all things on demand.) So it should be no surprise…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Being famous is overrated. I would be more happy [sic] being locally known for the good I do in the world in a popular way but not for the wrong reasons.”—Female, 16, UT

Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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