Millennial Mega Power

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Millennials or also known as Gen Y, hold huge buying power in today’s market. There are roughly 80 million in the US, spending $600 annually. They are forecasted to account for 35% of spending by 2030, having a great impact on new product development within the food and beverage industry.

We are seeing new trends emerging all the time as millennials seek alternative products. Three trends in the spotlight are veganism, earthy flavours due to the desire for bitter taste and ‘mood food ’ for enhanced overall wellness. With depression projected to be the biggest disease burden in 2030 according to WHO, serotonin-rich ingredients such as citrus fruits and salmon will be making their way into the spotlight. Airports and airlines have already started introducing mood-enhancing foods with lavender cakes and green tea aimed at reducing anxiety and providing a sense of calm. Brain boosting beverages also include products made from nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables as well as products with added omega-3.

The functional fourth meal

2018 has seen a crucial growth in functional foods and beverages, with conscious consumers seeking products with less sugar and added health benefits. According to a shopper survey from PR News Wire, these are the areas shoppers look for:

  • 63% are seeking a good source of calcium
  • 61% are looking for beverages that are a good source of fibre
  • 61% want their beverages to contain lowered or reduced sugar
  • 60% are drawn to beverages that are a good source of antioxidants
  • 57% want to consume beverages with increased protein
  • 55% buy beverages because they are a good source of omega 3
  • 46% of grocery shoppers are looking for beverages that contain probiotics

With 24-hour pop up gyms and 24-hour international transport readily available, millennials are shifting away from traditional family meals to more fragmented lifestyle options to suit their busy lifestyles. Whether it’s a pre or post-workout meal, 2018 has the answer to the fourth meal with a rise in late night juice bars, vegan food and health cafés across the globe.

Meat-free alternatives

With 2017 seeing a large rise in the number of flexitarians and meatless Monday’s, the meat-free market is set for growth. Mintel suggests this is because of the growing health concerns around meat, “Particularly cholesterol and fat content,” said Billy Roberts, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel. We have therefore seen growth in plant-based proteins such as pea, hemp, chia and quinoa. However, these ingredients have not only been a staple in non-dairy, nut-free milk alternatives but they are innovatively making their way to new product developments such as non-alcoholic, botanical cocktails to quinoa-based vodkas.

Lower alcohol

According to The Drinks Business: “With veganism rising by 360% in the past 10 years and gym membership soaring by 44% in 2015 alone, calorific drinks are slipping further down the list of desires for this increasingly health-conscious generation.” Today millennials drink considerably less than their parents. Lower and non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise, infused with exciting and unusual flavours. The soft-drinks market last year rose by 2.5%, this year we expect similar results with a decline in juices due to the concerns regarding sugar. We are also expected to see more texturized beverages from carbonated drinks to unusual foams, which enhances the concept of fresh, fun and filling.