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Millennial Eating:16 Ways Millennials are #Winning the Food Game

December 17, 2012

What is a Millennial and why is it important to understand how we eat?  Yes, I said we. I can call myself a Millennial because I was born between the years 1980 and 1995, placing me in the generational category. The Millennial, also known as a Gen Y’er, a Gen We or a Gen Next, has been dubbed one of the fastest growing and most influential generations the United States has seen.

The generational definitions can get confusing, so here is the run-down:

  • GI Generation (or WWII generation): currently ages 85 and older, 1901-1926
  • The Silents: ages 66-84, 1927-1945
  • The Baby Boomers: currently ages 47-65 , 1946-1964
  • Gen X: currently ages 30-46, 1965-1980

The lastest generational category, Millennials, were born after 1980.  With 1.7 billion members the Millennials are now the largest generation, surpassing the baby boomers.

Eating My Own Words

For years, marketing experts and trend watchers have examined the attitudes, beliefs and trends of each generation to define how they work as a whole.  However, the Millennial generation may just be the most fascinating and influential yet.  In a recent PR Daily article, author Michael Sebastian cited the millennial generation as ‘the most analyzed generation ever’.  Adrian Rosado, a Chicago-based entrepreneur and co-founder of, describes the Millennial as someone who “takes risks, sees everything as a challenge and embraces the ability to impact anything they can grasp with their hands or mind.” describes Millennials as 18 to 34-somethings who are “confident, savvy and creating a movement to revolutionize change”. Millennials are continually “making a mark with [their] ideals, attitudes and education.” It is no surprise that current market research is showing that it is these characteristics of Millennials that are beginning to greatly shape this nation’s eating habits.

Because of the Millennial influence on consumer demands, we are quickly observing a changing landscape in health and nutrition. In fact, according to a culinary trend marketing report, “Any manufacturer, retailer, or foodservice operator without a laser focus on this generation needs to play catch-up. Fast.”

In late, the media has placed a negative spin on Millennial eating habits, pointing a finger at the generation for increased consumption of energy beverages and eating on-the-go. Very few sources are shedding light on the fact that, in many ways, this generation is guiding the food industry in a positive direction.

Nutrition Lately digs deeper to examine the nutritional impact made when a generation who ‘knows what they want’ (including what foods) begins to influence the eating habits and nutritional status  of a nation. This article is based on expert interviews, market research and, quite frankly, personal understanding. Please stay tuned this week as we count down the 16 ways Millennials are positively changing the landscape of nutrition in the U.S.

Millennials are anything but quiet about what they want and the time to pay attention is now!

Elise Truman Bio

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