How Millennials Continue to Shape the Food and Beverage Industry

By Ryan Donovan,
Account Executive

At this point it’s a well-known fact: Millennials changed the world. From the workplace to the media and beyond, their habits, preferences and lifestyles are driving force behind a number of revolutions across almost every industry.

The food and beverage industry is no stranger to change, but Millennials continue to dictate direction while the industry tries to keep pace.

Millennials hold the title for the largest buying power group – making up the majority of the population and eclipsing Gen X by 20 Million people. They’re aging and establishing families, which is shifting their buying habits. So how does this affect Food and Beverage marketers?

How Millennials Continue to Shape the Food and Beverage Industry

Millennials spend their money on socialization, education, food away from home, food at home, and apparel, a sharp contrast to their Baby Boomer parents. In fact, 2.3% of Millennial meals will be at a restaurant each month while Boomers eat out only 1.8% of their meals. They may be the digital generation, but Millennials still enjoy getting together physically and savoring the atmosphere of the restaurant.

But one of the major shifts in the industry comes when Millennials aren’t eating out, but still want takeout. Delivery apps have seen a huge surge, and only grew further thanks to the coronavirus. And it’s not just one app that Millennials like to use when searching for food – pursuing several dozens of them to find their preferred locations and meals.

Both brands and establishments jumped on board to be one click away from this target market, partly out of necessity and partly out of demand. Apps allow direct contact with any type of consumer and it is a great way to strengthen the connection. It could be the brands app, a third-party app like Grubhub or Doordash, or scanning their social feed that will ultimately help make up the Millennials mind.

Millennials and apps aren’t the only combination that’s shifting the food and beverage industry. If you google Millennial Food Trends, you’ll see countless articles involving what is currently “popular” among Millennials.

And while it’s true that Millennials changed the industry, they aren’t done changing it yet. For instance, frozen food continues to trend upwards for a segmented market within the Millennials. Like we mentioned above, some Millennials now have kids. Their children like to eat frozen items, and their Millennial parents like the convenience. So now it’s not so much what the Millennial will be purchasing for themselves, but what they deem necessary for their children and their new lifestyle.

And it’s not enough to just meet these consumers in the digital and social aspects of their lives.

Millennials know when they aren’t being told the truth, and 30% of them will purchase a product directly on Facebook. If deemed trustworthy, brands will see the results right in their feeds.

It’s crucial for brands to be as transparent and honest as possible to win the attention and dollars of this coveted audience. Be interactive with Millennials, be aware of what changes they are going through like becoming parents, getting older and changing their habits accordingly. Social media fosters the most trust, so communicated honestly on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is beneficial. Subtly connecting these platforms to ways to order – via Delivery apps or e-commerce stores – makes it easy to turn that honesty and loyalty into sales.

The food and beverage industry continues to shift to embrace the changing Millennial generation. Missing the mark could be costly.