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Millennials: Shaping Food Culture


Millennials: Shaping Food Culture

The way America thinks about food is changing. To some, food supplies comfort. To others, it’s simply a source of fuel to power through the day. Millennials, however, believe their food choices reflect personal identity.

Millennials crave interesting experiences and adventure in all aspects of their lives—food included. Being the first to try a new food equates to being a trendsetter, so millennials are more apt than any other generation to explore cuisines. According to the National Restaurant Association’s ethnic foods survey, 29% of all participants said they have tried a new ethnic food within the past year. Specifically, that rate increased to 37% for respondents aged 25–34, and to nearly 50% for those aged 18–24.

Millennial spending power is increasing, and it’s predicted to reach $50 billion per year by 2020. Now is the time to adapt your concept and your menu to appeal to this food-favoring demographic. Start by serving more lean meats. Millennials make up 20% of lean protein consumption. Compared to all other demographics, millennials are most likely to purchase fresh turkey breast, turkey parts and whole turkeys. Satisfy their cravings for turkey by using it in unexpected ways on the menu. Try the Turkey Cuban for an exciting twist on a menu classic.

Millennials have an affinity for exotic flavors. They love traveling and exploring other cultures, and food is a huge part of that experience. Appeal to their adventurous taste buds with new ethnic dishes, like Turkey Pad Thai.

Browse our Culinary Center to find even more inspiration for your millennial diners.


Thorn, Bret. Beyond Fuel: Modern Eating Linked to Identity, Community, Nation’s Restaurant News. September 18, 2015.

Fromm, Jeff. Food Brands Must Embrace New Value Equation to Win With Millennials, Forbes. July 8, 2015.