Every generation is fated to make their mark on the world. Generation Y, or more popularly known as the “Millennials,” have already largely influenced today’s food trends.
Born between 1979-2000, Millennials have challenged traditional mindsets. They’re often described as “self-reliant” and “tech-savvy,” preferring to work autonomously with a tendency to vacillate from one job to the next.
Once their interest in their job wanes, they won’t hesitate to find something more challenging and satisfying; a far cry from the traditional career path of previous generations.
They are a product of exponential technological development, social media, and a market filled with infinite choices. Although at times regarded as entitled or enabled, they can also be seen as entrepreneurial, industrious, and adventurous.
When it comes to food, Millennials are extremely discerning about what they put into their mouths. Terms like “fresh,” “organic,” “farm to table,” and “artisanal” spark their interest, foregoing time-tested brands for the healthier, less processed options.
With that in mind, here are five current foodie trends fueled by Millennial tastemakers:
Combine & Conquer
It’s all about choice, and Millennials love to try something new almost every single time they dine out because of their intrepid nature. Customizing meals is a huge draw—for example, food bowls (which are all the rage nowadays) with exciting and exotic add-ons are as high in nutritional value as they are delicious.
They’re braver and less conservative when it comes to flavor combinations: spicy and fresh or sweet and bitter. The more complex the flavor profile, the better.
A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That
Instead of eating three square meals a day, Millennials love to go for numerous smaller meals. This makes healthy food choices even more important: every bite is a nutritious one.
And because the average Millennial is willing to spend on meals (outdoing any other generation), the price is always right for anything healthy and bold, no matter how small the portion size.
If There are No Photos, It Never Happened
Millennials consider themselves far more enlightened than their parents in terms of healthy eating, and they‘re eager to share their dining experiences; whether through blogs or foodie snaps on social networks like Instagram and Facebook. All this plays an enormous role in making them extremely influential foodies.
Eating is a Responsibility
Millennials are also highly conscious about societal issues like civil rights and protecting the environment that they are more likely to eat in establishments that have ethical and eco-friendly business practices. And that’s a trend we can all get behind!
It’s a Group Thing
Finally, Millennials love to dine out in groups, and this has been attributed to the educational system they were raised, which placed much value in “group work.”
Millennials value other people’s opinions and are forever crowd sourcing. They like to know the “stories” of the foods they eat and are generous when it comes to sharing amazing food finds; unlike epicures of yesteryear who took pride in taking best-kept food secrets to their grave.
Subject to constant and sometimes unfair criticism by older generations, we can all actually benefit from what Generation Y is trying to teach the world about food: Eat well, eat right.
*Written by a non-Millenial