Although millennials sometimes get a bad rap in the media — not all of us are on our phones 24/7, thank you very much — no one can deny that we’re somewhat trendsetters when it comes to the food and beverage industry. Since the millennial generation currently has thegreatest buying power in today’s food and beverage market, it’s no surprise that when millennial foodies make it clear that something is trendy, restaurants and grocers are quick to supply more of it (ever wondered why there are so many different build-your-own salad places?). Food suppliers spend big bucks trying to figure out what will be this year’s trendiest food-related habits and favorite items among millennial consumers. Thanks to them, we were able to uncover the seven millennial foodie trends that you’ll likely see more of in 2019.
1. More millennials are dining at home
Menu prices at restaurants across the United States are expected to steadily increasein 2019. As eating out becomes less affordable and supermarket prices stay steady, more millennials are opting to eat in. A recent study by Better Homes & Gardensindicated that 93 percent of millennials spend at least four nights a week dining in. Our collective decision to eat in more might be spurred by the booming meal kit market, better-prepared foods at the supermarket and the fact that many of us make Netflix-and-dinner a nightly ritual.
2. CBD-infused drinks and foods are becoming more mainstream and popular
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Brownie ••• Sweets by Chloe had this super cute CBD brownie and since it’s finals season I figured why not. I’m honestly not a huge fan since it feels a bit dense and dry but any sugary snack is better than no sugary snack ❤️ didn’t really feel anything from the CBD but it’s ok cuz there’s nothing a brownie can’t fix.
When talking about Cannabidiol (CBD), we’re referring to a compound derived from hemp that mellows you without getting you high and that has been linked to pain relief in some. As more jurisdictions in North America legalize marijuana in one form or another, more CBD-infused foods and beverages are appearing on restaurant menus across the country. Vermont-based organic eatery Green Goddess Cafe is leading the trend with “chill-latte” infused with CBD oil and CBD-enhanced tonic juices. NYC-based bakery Sweets by CHLOE has a CBD-infused chocolate ice cream cake called Mary Jane that has CBD frosting and green sprinkles (clever).
3. Low-carb diets are here to stay
In 2018, the ketogenic diet — one that involves eating a high-fat diet with little-to-no carbs — became increasingly trendy among millennials. That trend is likely here to stay in 2019. According to a recent Business Insider survey that included 1,037 participants, the most popular “dieting choice” among millennials surveyed was a low-carb diet. The Atkins and keto diets are among the most popular low-carb diets out there, but new offshoot diets that are gaining popularity include the ketotarian diet (a plant-based version of keto) and the mild keto diet (one that allows more carbs per day in your diet).
4. Millennials are fed up with inhumane farming practices and looking for alternatives
It’s no surprise that sales of plant-based meats grew over 23 percent from the start of 2018 to 2019. But this year, millennials who are looking to eat meat in a more sustainable way might finally be able to try the first ever lab-grown meat product. JUST, a California company that specializes in plant-based eggs and other products, plans to sell its first ever “slaughter-free” meat this year with its lab-grown chicken product. The movement is likely to spark controversy, but we’re willing to bet that it’ll be well-received among many millennials who are increasingly turning to plant-based diets.
5. Millennials are prioritizing eating for gut health
We’re becoming increasingly aware that a healthy gut is closely tied to overall wellness — you can’t have one without the other. That’s why more and more millennials are seeking out foods and ingredients that are meant to promote gut health. In 2018, digestive health sales were expected to exceed $4.9 billion. According to Whole Foods Market, sales of probiotics-enhanced pantry staples like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soup and nutrition bars will increase throughout 2019.
6. We like food that’s tailored to our specific tastes
More than previous generations, millennials are known for prioritizing individuality over much else. When it comes to our food choices, customization is key, and a trend that will keep growing steadily well into 2019. We like food that’s tailored to our specific tastes and nutritional concerns. That’s why build-your-own blank fast-casual places like Sweetgreen and poke hot spots are trending. Restaurants that offer custom-built meals will keep thriving this year, and more cuisines, like Indian and Korean, will likely jump onto the build-your-own bandwagon.
7. We adore food mashups and fusions
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Indianapolis here we come!! #Repost @motzburger ・・・ It's a ramen burger! It's a fried onion burger! Yes, it's BOTH. This mashup will happen one time only at a benefit event in Indianapolis next weekend. Chef Keizo and I are traveling to Indy for @revindyevent to make this awesome Frankenstein burger for the party, which kicks off race month leading up to the #Indy500. We have been paired with last year's winner, Japan's Takuma Sato! and we hear he's pretty excited to taste one.. #ramenburger #friedonionburger #pinchme
Ramen burgers? Check. Cronuts? Check. Millennials love mashups of different foods and cuisines, and the food industry has followed suit in recent years. Restaurants that combine two different cuisines to create a unique menu gained popularity among millennials last year and they’ll likely keep trending in 2019. Our favorite food mashups of the past? Oreos baked inside of cookies, nacho lasagna and spaghetti bread.