Healthy, fresh & natural: what drives a Millennial mindset when buying food

Known for their massive purchasing power, millennials have been strong drivers influencing the food industry. Worth taking a closer look, how their consumer choices are shaped and what they really care about.

Copyright: GettyImages

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a pure booster for rising interest in health topics worldwide. People have begun to pay more attention to their health and wellness, using quarantine time for fitness and preparing healthy food at home.

Additionally, perceiving our own well-being constantly in danger has contributed to overthink the own health status towards a proactive approach.

Did you know?

Even before the pandemic arose, especially millennials, meaning the population group born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, has been supposed to be highly involved in health topics. This is also reflected in their understanding of healthy nutrition. As they form the largest living generation, they have massive impact on the food industry. Understanding their wants, needs and motivators and adapting to it is crucial.

What really matters to millennials when buying food

Several studies throughout the whole world confirm that millennials care about what they eat and how it is produced. They want to be assured that the animals were raised responsibly. In general, millennials are turning toward food that is healthy, fresh and natural and they are willing to pay for products with sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic or natural ingredients. Additionally, increasing discussions around antibiotic resistance, sustainability, environmental impacts, and animal welfare have created rising demand for natural food.

To learn about their demands first-hand, Delacon has commissioned several surveys on consumer purchase decisions among millennials in 5 countries: Thailand, Brazil, Costa Rica, the U.S. and Columbia. We took a closer look at the role of natural ingredients and product labels when buying chicken. Why chicken? Chicken is one of the most demanded meat worldwide. The USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture has even forecasted global chicken meat production in 2022 to a record of 100.9 million tons. Additionally, Delacon is providing a broad range of plant-based phytogenic solutions for contributing to chicken’s welfare.

Millennials really care: Demand for natural ingredients on the rise

Throughout all observed countries we identified the key message: millennials definitely care about animal welfare and the environment. In fact, 9 out of 10 millennials even said that knowing their meat or poultry was fed phytogenic ingredients would make a positive impact on their brand choice. This clearly shows that phytogenics have potential to influence consumer’s purchase decisions. Food brands may be able to motivate purchases by calling out phytogenics on their labels.

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out of 10 millennials
Copyright: GettyImages

Moreover, we found out that quality and source of the food they eat, matter significantly to millennial consumers. A majority tries to stay away from processed foods. Regarding how quality is defined, we noted that labels like “fresh, never frozen”, “raised without antibiotics every” and “raised in a sustainable way” belonged to the top performing claims. Statements focused on no harmful residues, that improve wellness and strengthen immune systems, resonated strongly to the respondents. Additionally, a very high percentage of the millennials stated to look closely at the label when purchasing chicken. Considering all these aspects, there is no need to further clarify: there is no way around using the power of natural ingredients in food production.

Feel free to contact us for more information on regional differences.

Looking into the crystal ball

As pointed out, the millennial population, forming the currently predominating purchasing power, is obviously very evolved with health topics. Trying to take a look into the future, we identify, that Generation Z – meaning the population group born between 1995 and 2010 – is already getting off the starting blocks, when it comes to major purchase decision making. Very notably hereby: being influenced throughout their whole lives by their parents’ healthy lifestyles, they seem to follow their ways, being very health-conscious.

Additionally, they are experiencing themselves effects of various crisis as the pandemic situation or the climate change. Consequently, it can be expected that this generation will more than any other before try to protect their planet, their health, their lives. There are already studies revealing the high interest of Gen Z members in healthy products, showing their persisting demand for more organic and natural foods. For us, it is clear, that natural nutrition has become more than a trend. It has become a customer need. And we truly believe that it has come to stay.

(C) GettyImages

Discover more about the power of millennials

Bettina Karlinger

Bettina Karlinger

Bettina Karlinger joined our Organizational Development Team in May 2021. Previously, she studied economics in Linz and Spain and worked for over 15 years in market research. Bettina loves spending time in the nature together with her family and friends, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, mountains and lakes of Austria and – whenever possible – her “second home” Spain. Capturing these moments with her camera makes her day perfect.

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