Last updated on January 19th, 2017 at 04:53 pm
by Caroline Brindle/Special to The Shelby Report
My friends and I often are asked for the “Millennial perspective.” So here are some of my observations.
We love glamour, but have tiny paychecks. We put out lots of social media posts, but crave genuine relationships. We have our sights set on success, but don’t want to chain our lives to work. A little confusing, right?
These same wants, needs and priorities follow us into the marketplace—including grocery stores. Since eating is a must, and is involved in most all of our social gatherings, food choices are top priority. So, what attracts us to flock to one restaurant over the other? Why do we reach for KIND Bars over Nature Valley Peanut Butter Bars on aisle 9? Let me break it down.
We like simple, healthy and quick
From day one, we’ve been taught that if we can’t pronounce it, we shouldn’t eat it. All those sucrose-oxy-di-ose-containing words only mean one thing: processed. While sugary sweets and indulgences are welcomed in moderation, the majority of our food needs to be, well, simple. I’m talking low in number of ingredients, sugars and bad fats, but high in proteins and nutrients—and organic labels. These buzzwords stick out to us, yet the ingredient label doesn’t fool us.
This idea of simplicity directly correlates with our drive for healthy living. We know the importance of fueling our bodies with wholesome food. And, if given the choice between a slightly more expensive healthy snack or a cheap and greasy entree, the extra $2 will likely always win. Yes, guy Millennials, we know you want to be healthy, too. Sometimes, the only downfall with healthy foods are the lack of bulk options and shelf life. But those are nothing a freezer can’t fix.
We also want things quickly. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been on the go; always involved and always looking for more to put on my plate (figuratively). Same with my peers. I’m now well aware of the luxury associated with having a home-cooked meal. When I left for college, I quickly learned that Dad’s five-star pasta dish would be a rare and special treat. And now, as we’re entering new stages in our lives (post-college), we come home late from work, with little-to-no energy, and the last thing we want to do is cook. Or buy ingredients to cook. We want fast, efficient meals that can be thrown together in 10 minutes, tops. Fifteen, if we’re not too “hangry.”
We like apps (and our phones)
As most of you know, our phones are an extension of our fingers. When a new and useful app is created, we’ll likely all have it within a week. From car services (Uber, Lyft and Way2Ride) to product delivery (Blue Apron, Munchery and Amazon Prime), the easier the app makes life for us, the better.
I’ve noticed this even more since moving to New York City. On the food and grocery delivery front, Seamless and FreshDirect are must-haves. And it makes sense. If you can order pizza for delivery, why not order produce and grains, too? Not only does this save us a trip, but we no longer have to make (or find) time for lengthy food shopping trips. A win-win.
We’re social media-savvy
My generation is completely captivated by images. Bright, trendy, beautiful photos. So much so that we even spend hours re-pinning to our future wedding, home/apartment and job boards or scrolling through random insta-famous bloggers’ feeds. Hey, if Kayla Itsines is eating it, you better believe her followers are going to eat it, too. While pictures tend to generate a version of ourselves that we want to achieve—almost like a goal or inspiration—they also keep us in the loop.
Social media is our modern-day newspaper, only quicker and far more interesting (to us). If matcha is the latest power supplement or acai bowls are making a comeback, they’ll be displayed in our feeds. In no time, every fitness blogger will have a sponsored post and every online publication will already have an article posted and ready to be read. If you want to get through to us, take a trendy picture, add a punny caption, then post that baby on all social outlets.
From simplicity to accessibility, Millennials want efficiency when it comes to food. With Yelp and social media recommendations, as well as delivery services and five-ingredient meals, we want it at our fingertips and we want it now. Sure, this may seem like the lazy way out, but it works. We’re able to fuel ourselves all while working long hours, trying to “adult” and squeezing in some fun, too. We’re Millennials and we’re helping create the modern-day marketplace.
Caroline Brindle is a recent graduate of James Madison University, where she studied health science and writing. Her dual majors allow her to voice her knowledge and passion about all things health and wellness. When she’s not keeping up with her blog or headed out on a run, Brindle enjoys testing out the trendiest eats and exploring around her NYC neighborhood. She can be reached at [email protected].