Boomer: “Let’s go to the place I have been going to for 30 years.”
Millenial: “Actually, I can’t eat there because I only eat things that are organic, paleo, vegan, ketogenic, whole thirty, detoxifying cleanses that are gluten free, dairy free, free range, cruelty-free, locally grown, grass-fed, hormone-free and farm to table.”
The foodie phenomenon began around 2010 and it has not been a subtle takeover. When you include kale T-shirts, Boba drinks, keychain siracha bottles, mason jars as tuberware, acai, quinoa, chia bowls, charcoal waters and all purpose coconut oil; it is evident that millenials have redefined the food industry. But, hey, at least they didn’t bring back the congealed jello salad!
Gone are the days when boomers ate food for sustenance. Now, millennials eat for the experience. We dine for aesthetics and atmosphere, not just for taste. We choose our meals with ethical, environmental, social and nutritional beliefs in mind. In other words, all meals must be “instagrammable” and not subject to judgement.
Although millenials prefer cheap food because they are young, they are somehow more than willing to pay up for fresh, healthy food and go to great lengths to get it. Just roam through your average grocery store and observe the differences from ten years ago: gluten free areas, entire aisles of protein bars and more advertising geared to health minded individuals. Many “studies” have been food-focused in the past decade and parade contradicting messages that lead health nuts into frenzy.
They sound like this:
Coffee is horrible for you. No, it lengthens life. No, it will kill you tomorrow. Actually, it is the magic potion needed to keep you young. Artificial sugar is bad for you. Real sugar is bad for you. All sugar is bad for you, but fruit sugar is good for you. Just kidding, fruit sugar is bad for you. So have fun with that. Fat is actually good for you. No, fat is fattening. No, it’s great for you, but cheese is bad. But wait, nuts are good, avocados are magical and then so is cheese.
We are starting to trust the “Did you know (Insert food item) is actually bad/good for you?” update like Boomers trust the government. But while some people go on diets because of weight, health, environmental, or ethical reasons—foodie culture has turned food into something more symbolic. Food has become yet another source of self-expression.
Millennials took the phrase “You are what you eat” and created a culture around it. Now, Generation Z seems to be following that same path. So, what do YOU think the next food trend will be?
By: Sam Fowler