Every generation brings different preferences that force business to shift accordingly, and millennials’ influence on the food industry is no exception. Here are seven food and beverage trends that today’s young adults can’t get enough of…according to FDR’s intern Mary Murphy. Mary is a junior at Western Michigan University majoring in Food & CPG Marketing.
1. Organic & Natural
The younger generation has brought an awareness and demand for healthier food options. Twenty-somethings are much more inclined to order something off the menu that has the words “organic” or “natural” in the ingredient list.
2. Food Trucks
Food trucks have come a long way from the classic ice cream truck. For the last few years, some of the trendiest foods are served on wheels. From hot dogs to cupcakes to even lobster, food trucks have made their mark on the food industry and often influence larger-scale menu trends.
3. Fermented Foods
As mentioned in #1, health food is a major pull for millennials, but that doesn’t mean young diners don’t also want a lot of flavor. That leads us to fermentation. It is a biggy. It’s even working to bring back bread.
The concept of brunch has been around since 1939, and the concept is holding strong in today’s market. Brunch is not just a meal. It’s a social outing best enjoyed with friends or family and often includes the daytime consumption of Bloody Mary’s and mimosas.
More adventurous palettes call for more and more spices. Nearly every fast food chain has sriracha somewhere on the menu, like the Sriracha Chicken Sandwich from Wendy’s or Sriracha Chicken at KFC. More than half of consumers want spice, and the food industry is meeting that demand.
6. Gourmet Tacos
Tacos have gone from a meal served at a “roach coach” or a drive-thru to an upscale dine-in experience and routine homemade meal. Between Chipotle’s quick, casual scene, and Tex-Mex restaurants popping up almost everywhere, Mexican style food is a big trend. The simple taco has gotten a makeover, and young people can’t seem to get enough.
7. Rolled Ice Cream
Young twenty-somethings have “Instagram Eat’s First” engraved into their brains. They prefer trendy, Insta-worthy food that solicits a few double-taps, and that is one of the reasons rolled ice cream is so popular. Rolled ice cream is common in Thailand and has made its way to the U.S. in the last couple years. Watching the process is as fun as eating the ice cream.
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