Millennials love casual dining, coffee, frozen foods & seltzer | FastCompany

By September 9, 2019Food trends
[Photo: Blake Wisz/Unsplash]

Hold on to your jean jacket!

Millennials have been blamed for tanking everything from cereal to real estate, but the generation now is being credited for bolstering a variety of industries.

CB Insights just released a list of a dozen types of companies that are flourishing with help from millennials. Wanna know which industries should be lifting a glass of hard seltzer to toast Gen Y? Grab a plant-based frozen burrito and read on.

  1. Camping: A combination of having kids, more income to spend, and the luxurious camping options now available (glamping anyone?) makes this an attractive free-time activity. According to Kampgrounds of America, millennials were 56% of all new campers last year.
  2. Fitness: This generation is known for its health-conscious attitude, and besides affecting food trends, they’re pumping up gym attendance. Seventy-six percent reported exercising at least weekly, which is more than Gen X’s 70% and baby boomers’ 64%.
  3. Travel: Gen Y hearts taking trips. Past studies have shown they’d rather travel than pay off debts or buy a home, and what they really are gaga over are good deals and ways to customize their world travel.
  4. Fast casual dining: “Fast” is in the name for a reason. Millennial consumers love speed, so this is the way they want their food, not via snail-paced sit-down dining. Also high on their must-have lists are low prices, big menu selections, and healthy options.
  5. Coffee: Who doesn’t love a cup of joe? If you’re a millennial consumer, you especially do—and you’re credited for 44% of coffee demand in this country. It’s not your father’s java, though. This gang likes cold brew, boutique third-wave coffees, and drinks with strong fair-trade or sustainable cred.
  6. Frozen foods: This cohort’s love of speed and healthy foods is fueling frozen foods, so the freezer-forward industry emphasizes its ease of preparation and ups its game with quality ingredients, including plant-based and gourmet options.
  7. Seltzer: Health is at play again, as millennials shift away from soda. CBD and alcohol are new ingredients this bubbly industry is playing with to keep fans interested.
  8. Houseplants: The greenery industry is rolling in the green, as Generation Y grows fond of fronds. Again, this circles back to their wellness-focused lifestyles, plus for those who live in crowded cities, plants spruce up a small apartment. Google “jungalow” for kicks.
  9. Skincare: Credit online beauty videos, the increasing number of natural and even vegan beauty products, and the rise of direct-to-consumer and exclusive brands. Yes, millennials want to look good. In 2017, NPD found that this group was already buying 25% more cosmetics than during the two years before.
  10. Automotive: They’ve not just started their engines, but driven off the lot. “In Q1 ’18, millennials were responsible for all new-vehicle sales growth in the U.S.,” according to CB Insights. And they’re gunning for foreign, not domestic, vehicles. (Sorry, Detroit.)
  11. Micromobility: The gang that prefers city to suburban living again flexes its muscles and is driving up the popularity of ride-sharing companies, like Lyft and Uber, along with bike-sharing and electric scooter programs.
  12. Personal finance: This isn’t George Bailey-style, but technology-focused. Think personal-finance and banking apps. Seventy percent of the people who use budgeting apps are millennials.

Source: Are millennials killing everything? Not these 12 industries