The Millennial Meal Plan

Today's post comes from Ypulse team member Gwen Radsch.

The Millennial Meal Plan

Food ArticleAs the US Census has frequently reported, the Millennial generation is extremely diverse. With this diversity comes an exposure to many different cultures, including traditional, and not-so-traditional, cuisine. International is becoming local and the flavors of every country have never been so easy to find as they are today. For example, in our Lifeline Report on Food and Beverage habits among Millennials conducted earlier this year, we found that 33% consume rice, almond, or soy milk at least occasionally. These types of milks were pretty rare not too long ago, but now a full third of Millennials consider them a standard part of their diet.

Millennials are approaching food and meals in a very different way; it is less about just grabbing a bite and more about creating a memory. A quick look at Instagram, Pinterest, or the many Tumblrs devoted to food will show you that this generation doesn’t just expect a meal at the dinner table, but rather to have an influential experience. Fully 1 in 5 (21%) Millennials report that they have attended a food festival which shows how food has evolved into more than just calories, but instead evokes a communal experience that was once reserved for music and Star Trek.

Recently, much has been made of the fact that Millennials are less brand loyal than Boomers when it comes to food purchases. It is possible that the economy is impacting whether this generation is willing to pay extra for a brand name, but given that they are in a highly experimental time in their lives, many of them cooking for themselves for the first time, it is more likely they haven’t figured out which aisle in the supermarket fits them best. The critical question, however, is do they even…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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