Two Big Fast Food Brands Are Neck-And-Neck to Be Gen Z & Millennials’ Favorite

Yes, the generations known for their healthy ways DO eat fast food. What’s their favorite? We asked 1000 13-35-year-olds, and found some interesting divides in their answers…

Because Millennials have such a reputation for healthy eating—and “killing” chains that are perceived as unhealthy—we often have to remind brands that they do, in fact, eat fast food. Yes, according to Ypulse’s survey on health and fitness, 62% of 13-35-year-olds say that overall, they have a healthy diet. But in that same survey, 84% told us that they let themselves indulge in unhealthy food, and 83% said that they eat at fast food restaurants sometimes, even though they know they’re not healthy. Oh, and the Millennial parents who are boosting organic food buying because they only want their kids to have the very best? Almost 75% of them tell Ypulse they’ll feed their kids fast food.

To find out what the favorite fast food brands of these healthy eating generations actually are, we recently asked 13-35-year-olds, “Thinking about FAST FOOD or QUICK SERVICE restaurants, where you have the option to order your food at a counter or drive-thru, which fast food restaurant is your favorite?”* And their answers told us a lot. Not only are two major brands neck-and-neck for the top spot on the favorites list, but males and females are very divided on where the best fast food is found. Let’s take a look at their top 13 fast food chains overall:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of fast food restaurants that Millennials and Gen Z say are their favorites—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according to number of responses…

 
 

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


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

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