Markets insights firm Maru/Matchbox has released a new report. The Future of Food: Are You Ready for the Millennials discusses the major influence of millennials on the food industry.The new report's findings include some very interesting, if not totally surprising, persepctives:
- Millennials have a passion for premium. This group differs from other generations in that they are more likely to expect features traditionally seen as premium. Some specicifcs on these premium preferences include that 61 percent of millennials expect foods to be GMO-free, compared with 46 percent of those aged 50-plus. Others are more surprising, such as 54 percent of millennials also expect ancient grain to be included in their foods, compared with 29 percent age 50-plus.
- Millennials put their money where their mouths are. Not only do they expect premium products, they're willing to pay for them, too. This is because "organic" and "natural" products make millennials feel more responsible and health-conscious, and therefore are seen as deserving of a higher price. Sixy-eight percent of millennials are willing to pay more for organic foods, and 66 percent are willing to pay more for sustainable foods -- that's around 30 percent more than those age 55-plus.
- Millennials trust small and local. Smaller brands have been gobbling up half the growth in premium sales because millennials associate them, in turn, with more premium product features and ingredients. Thirty-five percent of millennials indicate that their trust in smaller brands has grown, while only 18 percent of those age 55-plus say the same.
- Millennials prize choice as well as convenience. Millennials are the first native-to-the-internet generation, so no wonder that 43 percent say that they would buy all of their food online if they could, compared with only 14 percent age 50-plus.
- Millennials actively share their food interests on social media. Preferences and expectations are one thing, but millennials are also great evangelists for the things they love on social media, and their sharing only augments the influence of the trends they drive. For example, 69 percent of millennials take a photo or video of their meal before eating, essentially creating a free spotlight on the brands or restaurants they choose to feature.
Matt Kleinschmit, managing director, consumer and shopper insights at Maru/Matchbox says, "The impact of this emergent generation continues to grow as they advance in their careers and become more established, and their habits are dramatically reshaping the food industry." I guess that we still need to learn more about this very food-focused generation.