NATIONAL REPORT - As the current "it" generation of consumers, Millennials know what’s cooking -- literally, according to new research by The Harman Group.
The research firm's new report, Outlook on the Millennial Consumer 2014, details how Millennial consumers, aged 19 to 33, have become a reliable barometer for the future of food culture.
Several findings of the report include:
- Millennials have the belief that nutritional variety, not excluding the consumption of unhealthy foods, is important to their overall health. Some Millennials even have guilt-free days, commonly referred to as "cheat days" or "total body crash," where they will eat anything, including "the epic breakfast."
"Diets are propaganda," a 28-year-old Millennial female told the researchers. "One diet says one thing and another says the opposite. You need to find your own healthy balance and forget about fad diets."
- Millennials are more distrustful of brands and are less swayed by labels and claims that certain foods are "natural," "low-calorie" or "organic."
- Millennials lead other generations in paying attention to socially relevant callouts, such as product narratives and origin stories.
- Millennials enjoy cooking more than older generations, and these home cooks and aspiring cooks are crucial to a broader movement towards fresh, less processed foods.
- Millennials still eat out more than any other generation and prefer fast food, in part because of their age and income level. However, they look for healthier options such as Chipotle Mexican Grill. Millennials are particularly drawn to this chain for its open kitchen and build-your-own ingredient bar that provides them with an authenticity they love. Chipotle also has values that coincide with theirs: organic and local ingredients, and meat with no added hormones or antibiotics.
Overall, Millennials' strong ties to technology and new ways of eating are worth watching for clues and trends that can set the pace for other generations, the research firm stated.
The Hartman Group's full report is available for download here.