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…


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Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

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