Young Diners Want Fast Food Restaurants To Know These 5 Things

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Health-obsessed young diners are still eating fast food, but that doesn’t mean they don’t expect some changes from the segment. Here’s what 13-35-year-olds really want from fast food chains...

It’s no secret that young consumers are health-obsessed. More than previous generations, wellness is an active pursuit for Millennials and Gen Z, who are exercising more, eating better, and spending more of their hard-earned cash on healthy living. They’re using apps to track fitness data, turning to online resources for health advice, and fueling a revolution of organic, all-natural food. In fact, sales of food made or grown without pesticides and hormones increased 8% in 2016 compared to an increase of 0.6% in overall food sales in the U.S., and according to recent Ypulse research, four in 10 13-35-year-olds say they eat only organic and all-natural food. Additionally, six in 10 Millennials and Gen Z say that, overall, they have a healthy diet.

In response to these healthy tendencies, the fast food industry has been understandably anxious. Many predicted that foodie-centric Millennials would turn their backs on the McDonalds and Burger Kings of the world in favor of healthier, trendier fast casual options—as well as in favor of cooking at home. And while it’s true that young consumers say they prefer fast casual (over half of 13-35-year-olds tell Ypulse they would rather eat at Chipotle than McDonalds), the fast food industry has actually fared well among these health-loving generations. Less than one in 10 young diners say they never eat at fast food restaurants, and four in 10 say they eat at them often or even very often. The U.S. fast food industry grew from $206 billion to $209 billion between 2016 and 2017, according to Statista, and it’s expected to grow another 6% by 2020. According…

 
 

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


The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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