I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in public and someone – presumably older than I am – makes a comment about how fast I type on my computer or on my iPhone. It never fails to surprise them – and it immediately categorizes me as a typical “Millennial.”
You know those “young people”? The ones you think are jumping around from job to job, constantly texting on their smartphones and living through social media?
Yes – you guessed it – I am talking about MILLENNIALS… the generation that gets a bad rap for “living their best lives” and doing what they enjoy (especially Instagramming every meal they eat).
To Be Honest… Or as Millennials Say, ‘TBH’
According to Pew Research, Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996. That means people ages 23 – 38 are Millennials – and there’s a big difference between a fresh-out-of-college 23-year-old learning about adulthood and a 38-year-old balancing an advanced career and a family.
So what do we know about this generation and how it interacts with meat?
When we surveyed meat eaters for our Meat Consumer Segmentation 2.0 research, we learned that 18% of our participants fell into the Millennial age range. Not surprisingly, we found the majority of Millennials fall within two distinct segments of the meat-eating population: the Convenience Chasers segment, closely followed by the Protein Progressives segment.
What can I say? We’re a generation constantly on the go, expecting everything to arrive with free 2-day shipping (thank you, Amazon) and we love adventure, especially when it comes to trying new cuisines and bold, fresh flavors.
So how do our research learnings about Millennials translate to real life?
I can tell you plenty of first-hand stories about Instant Pot meals that take 15 minutes (with a FROZEN piece of meat!), potlucks I attend where most of the food is store-bought (and still in the packaging) and “Pinterest fails.” But just because we Millennials aren’t as skilled at home cooking as older generations or gravitate toward super-quick meal options does not mean we aren’t interested in food – in fact, it’s just the opposite.
Our generation lives for foodservice experiences! From pop-up restaurants to idolizing chefs like celebrities, we make eating an all-out event. Bar-hopping isn’t the go-to these days – it’s restaurant-hopping. Lucky for me, I live in one of the best food cities in the U.S.: Chicago. Walk down any street and you’ll find restaurants offering every kind of cuisine you could imagine… and they’ll most likely all be packed.
Today’s Millennials check restaurant reviews on Yelp and scope out the menu online in advance. We are all about sharing food. We love to try different dishes, flavors and types of meat — especially when it all comes on a charcuterie board to kick off our meal. We’re an experiential group and eating at a restaurant satisfies that desire on multiple levels: When we write our Yelp reviews, they won’t be just about the food, they will also cover the service and the atmosphere. Loving restaurants has become a lifestyle for many Millennials, whether you’re a self-proclaimed “foodie” or just enjoy visiting the latest hot spots with your friends. (#SquadGoals!)
How does this translate to retail? Millennials aren’t looking to eat out EVERY day of the week. When they do eat in, they want to duplicate their great restaurant meals. By branding retail products with a well-known culinary name or creating copycat recipes, Millennials will look to purchase that meat to re-create their outstanding restaurant eating experiences at home. And they will invite their closest friends over to try the dish, too.
I say it’s time to stop being so salty about this social-media-obsessed bunch. Instead, let’s focus on the buying power of this generation and ways to sell Millennials more meat that leverages their combined love of social sharing and the eating experience. So get out there and create that five-second YouTube ad to help your steak brand stand out or launch a campaign around an influencer whose followers perfectly align with your brand. Do whatever it takes to catch the short attention spans of this generation and your brand will be top-of-mind next time they stop by their grocer.
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