So why should we care what they eat? Well they’re now a larger group than the Baby Boom generation with numbers exceeding 75 million. In fact, Millennials (ages 18-36), now represent the largest segment of the U.S. workforce and have significant spending power.

The group has a strong appetite for high quality, natural foods and are willing to pay more for them. This hasn’t been good news for large food companies as they are showing a preference for healthier, organic and non-GMO foods from smaller, local food sources.

In addition, Millennials are more likely to:

  • be influenced by friends than be affected by advertising
  •  advocate for products by posting about them on social media
  • “love cooking” and consider themselves “experts in the kitchen”
  • be open to shopping in non-traditional retail environments
  • prefer labeling that also reveals what the food doesn’t contain (e.g. clean labeling)

As more Millennials enter the workforce and older ones move up the ladder, their spending power and influence will only grow. Understanding the buying behaviors and satisfying the unique needs of this large group will become a major component of a successful growth strategy for category managers in food companies going forward.


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