Millennials are often labeled as the laziest, most entitled generation in recent memory. Their massive influence on society is widely viewed as entirely negative, largely because many tend to equate the terms “different” and “worse.” But when you consider the increasing amount of food options available today, it’s safe to say that millennials have made it much, much easier to eat healthy.
At first, the demands of the millennial market appear to confirm their spoiled reputation. Restaurants and food makers have had to significantly change their selections to appeal to their heightened standards for quality. But what these demands have really done is give everyone (not just the rich) more options to suit their individual needs. The average person now doesn’t have to look very far to find food that simultaneously improves their health while complementing their overall lifestyle, from their work schedule to their personality.
Here are three of the many ways millennials have helped their fellow countrymen make healthier choices:
1. They Want The Truth Front And Center
It’s not that millennials don’t like eating anything remotely unhealthy and want everyone to change their ingredients. They just don’t want food makers to lie about or hide what’s in their products. This has resulted in an increase in transparency in regards to ingredients as well as their sources. Grocery store items now have more informative labels. Millennials like to know how their food is made, where it comes from, and whether this mysterious “serving size” actually reflects how much the customer is probably going to eat.
Some coffee makers are responding to this demand by boasting that their beans are “fair trade,” which means they come from family-owned farms in small-producing (as opposed from mass-producing) areas of the world. They believe they will attract more young customers by reminding them that the people who mine their beans are being paid appropriately.
2. They Want It Their Way (The Right Way)
Whether it’s due to allergies, a new diet, or simply taste, people are constantly forced to customize restaurant items. Older generations might have been more hesitant to deviate from the menu but millennials, well, we know they’re not afraid to ask for anything. After all, they are paying for the food so it only makes sense that they get their money’s worth. You can thank millennials for the rise of fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle or Smashburger as well as the increasing amount of restaurants offering customizable burgers, pizzas, etc. Customers who are looking out for their health now don’t have to stress about getting cheddar cheese instead of American (it’s better for people who are extra sensitive to dairy) or whole wheat pasta instead of regular.
3. A New Standard For “Healthy”
Millennials have higher standards for what constitutes a “healthy” item. Previous generations might have been satisfied to learn that something is “low-carb” or “low-fat” but millennials are more interested in items that are “organic,” “gluten-free,” or “locally-grown.” You might have seen a menu offering a burger that is made from “grass-fed, farm-raised beef.” Health-oriented restaurants and food makers have complied to this demand by listing the name of the farm where their food comes from or how the source of their food affects their carbon footprint. They know that their chances of attracting environmentally-conscious millennial customers is much greater if they project an earth-friendly image.
It’s Okay To Want More
Millennials are criticized for “wanting more” in life, but food is one area where it is perfectly understandable to want more. Before millennials became a target demographic, options for healthy food were few and far between, and it was frighteningly common for people to have no idea what was in the food they were eating. New demands proved that the capabilities to produce healthier items do in fact exist and will likely improve as future generations continue to prioritize health over convenience.