Vintage Cake Slice Collection Courtesy of The Props Dept.

Vintage Cake Slice Collection Courtesy of The Props Dept.

Lately at Slice I’ve been looking at Millennials – the impacts and opportunities of this emerging demographic for the food sector.  I thought I’d share a few interesting bits.

Millennials – Who They Are & Why We Hate Them: Scott Hess (Tedx Talk)

Don’t we love Ted Talks.  I came across this entertaining 20 minutes with Scott Hess (Vice Pres Insights, US Youth Research Firm TRU Insights).  He describes the ‘standoffs’ between Xers (“anti-corporate, mass media”) and Millennials (“Commerce Lubricated By Conscience”, “personalised media”).  I like the positive tone, moving away from narcissistic profiling of Millennials to an appreciation of their social inclusivity and desire to make a difference.  Suggesting Xers are jealous of Millennials might be a step too far, but it prompts thinking. You can watch it here.

How Brands Can Engage Millennial consumers: Ron Ruggless, Nation’s Restaurant News, Feb 11 2013

Millennials: Eating Out Of Both Sides Of Their Mouth (Image Source BBDO Atlanta via Restaurant News)

Again, US-centric, but a piece that emphasises that the best way to connect with Millennials is to show them that you’re listening. Top down traditional Corporate messaging doesn’t work, instead go for the ‘democratised view’ and listen by asking through Social Media.  Millennials also are looking for experiences; so not just what they eat, but where and how (and was it worthy of a pic on instagram).

Conclusions are from Viacom media which owns entertainment brands such as MTV. You can read it here.

Gen Y Turns Tables On Traditional Dining: Larissa Dubecki, SMH Aug 31 2013

Larissa Dubecki gives some Australian insight into dining trends driven by this younger demographic in an article and also video interview with Jess Ho, the 25-year-old social media and branding consultant to Chris Lucas’ restaurants Chin Chin and Baby’.  Gen Y dining is summarised as ‘fast food in a loud and fun environment’ where personality and character of the restaurant are key.  However also emphasised is the importance of getting the basics of good service right, including being able to answer questions like where produce is from and how it’s made.  Over-simplify at your peril, in other words!  You can read and watch here.

Gen Y Gets Serious About Plating Up: Brand Tasmania Newsletter, Oct 2010

While this article is a few years back now, it is interesting to include from an Australian perspective as it reflects on the success of reality TV Cooking Shows in helping to drive change in the food purchasing and cooking habits of a younger demographic.  One interviewee suggests that this ‘taste revolution’ only applies to a relatively small percentage of this group, the ‘Gen Y elite’.  Also picks up on some of the dining trends highlighted in the SMH piece above.  Read the article here.

Generations Defined: McCrindle Research (Aust) 2012

Lastly, here’s a quick one page summary of the generations, their approximate years of birth and key characteristics.  Useful to refer back to perhaps.  You can find it here. 

Thanks for reading. If you find something useful here or elsewhere, let me know about it using the contact form below; I’d love to hear from you!