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Wellness

Tracking the Growing Influence of Millennials on Food

Distinct shopping and eating habits are forcing brands to adjust

The Lempert Report

Fox Business Network’s Lauren Simonetti says millennials are about to surpass baby boomers as the largest generation this year, according to Pew Research. And this growing group is beginning to influence food brands, who are adapting to the generation’s tastes and preferences, she says.

“It’s a generation of 73 million, so what the food companies are doing is saying, ‘We need to connect in some way, be a do-good company to this audience,’” Simonetti says.

One example she gives is a new flavor by StarKist: “They like to eat small quantities of things, snacks. They also like to indulge. So, StarKist, the tuna people, they came out with a red curry coconut flavor that they sell in a pouch.”   

Former Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) discussed challenges facing dairy farmers in the state due to trade on Fox Business, but he also said millennials’ eating habits are impacting dairy farms. 

“Fewer and fewer young people are eating cereal in the morning, and that is an impact on dairy farms. As odd as that sounds, it’s actually a fact out there. We need more people eating cereal,” Walker said. Presumably to consume more milk.

Talking about changing eating habits: A recent survey, commissioned by vegetarian and plant-based food provider Sweet Earth Foods, of 2,000 millennials found their diets differ greatly from other generations. Nearly 60% of millennials have a special diet, which includes ketoWhole30plant-based or vegan.

Of those who said they follow one of these types of restricted diets, nearly half of them said they do so because it is better for the environment, while more than a third of those responding said they do it because it's ethical. 

The average millennial spends nearly 200 hours a year at the grocery store and more than 300 hours a year cooking. Millennials spend more than $2,200 annually at the grocery store and nearly $1,700 a year eating out.

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