Millennial Food Preference
1954 brought about the official end to food rationing in Britain. With the 15-year ban lifted on meat and sugar purchase restrictions, the nation seemingly spiralled into food evolution. Indeed, the contrast is extreme compared to the eating habits of millennials today, which supposedly is the reason why we can’t afford houses. Damn you avocado on toast.
The British food rationing period was an extremity that needed to happen as food supplies were often sabotaged, so resourcefulness was key. This was highlighted in meals that achieved sustenance, for example Welsh Rarebit and Rice Pudding, and made rations go further. This has railed into the complete opposite in 2019, where habitual eating habits would’ve been considered lux in the past. Cue the avocado on toast.
Millennials are marking their dominance in the work force and account for a quarter of global population, so it’s no wonder that our food consumption habits are trending around Millennial preferences and their consumer choices. These preferences are reflected in large food manufacturers, such as Aria Foods and Associated British Foods plc. From ingredient sourcing and more sustainable packaging, to alternative dairy and vegan options, the food market and variety are vast and ever trending.
A primary concern of trending food is prominent in the realm of ingredient sourcing and where things come from. Following the establishment of Fair Trade by the World Fair Trade Organisation, it seems the nation has upped the ante when it comes to where their food comes from and this has become particularly apparent amongst millennials.
A trending example of this are alternative milks (in this instance to dairy), particularly when it comes to beverage consumption. Viral videos and social media sources have circulated information about where our food comes from and has now become synonymous with being healthy. With the case of milk, the treatment of cows and the negative effects of dairy (skin issues and potential weight gain) are often the reasoning behind millennials switching to an alternative milk. Oat, Almond and Soy milk are popular choices, particularly when paired with coffee and cereal. This upholds the variety and choices that we have and that millennials are even willing to pay more for them.
Sustainable packaging has also become a large part as to how millennials consume food. With British Youtubers, such as Grackle and ClickforTaz promoting ‘zero waste’ challenges highlight the importance of not using single use plastic and food waste in the UK. This is almost reflective of the attitudes held in the fifties when resourcefulness was a necessity.
The range of food that millennials are exposed to and associated with are down to a change in lifestyle and are vaster than ever. The International Food Information Council’s 2017 Food and Health survey identified that convenience is a primary factor when purchasing food with millennials. This aligns with the ‘avocado on toast’ trend that is often a backlash of millennial food choices, because the tendency is to spend more on this. We love to go out and enjoy food which is reflective of the convenience and contrasts with the limited choices that previous generations had. We are exposed to different types of food and our kitchen staples are ever growing.
In summation, the food consumption patterns and choices amongst millennials today are not only more varied, but influenced by expanding food knowledge. It seems, millennials are exposed to more information than ever and can use this to make educated food choices as well as experimenting with foods.