Repeat after me: Preservatives. Pesticides. High-fructose corn syrup, Antibiotics. Gluten. Genetically modified organisms. Artificial colors and flavors.
Hungry? Me neither.
It comes as no surprise that millennials nowadays value a greater understanding of the origins of whatever food they consume. And our love for “food with integrity” has had a serious affect on the fast-food model.
Big chain restaurants are fighting to stay relevant to the foodie generation who now believes that “big” is “bad.” An analysis by Moskow concluded that since 2009, the top 25 US food and beverage companies have lost an equivalent of $18 billion in market share. The fear over unhealthy processed foods have caused menu changes for major companies: Taco Bell and Pizza Hut (phasing out artificial flavors and colors), Chipotle (eliminating GMOs), even McDonald’s (withdrawing use of human antibiotics in chicken). Millennials are keen on fast-casual dining, like Chipotle or Panera, that offer higher-quality food at reasonable prices. Coupled with the shift in consumer ideology, and you get the perfect incentive for positive change.
Local and organic products come at a higher price-point for everyone, so while Panera and Chipotle say consumers won’t see any change in prices –buyers beware. Regardless, millennials will pay the price for grade-A grub. And while we won’t see anyone flipping grass-fed beef on the McGrills just yet, there’s certainly hope for a healthier hamburger.
Steph is a native New Yorker with a love of culture, creativity, and communications. She’s a foodie, nutrition junkie, yogi, wine-lover, bookworm, world traveler, style-addict, and people person. She also runs her event planning company, Orchard + Broome.