TEEN HEALTH Published May5, 2015 By Jacob Cherian

Millenials' Eating Habits: Most Ethnically Diverse Generation Drives Interesting Flavor Combinations And High-Nutrition Diet

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Looking into millenials' eating habits, it is apparent that this generation of young people are preoccupied with healthy snacking. 

Millenials grew up in a period when obesity was the biggest concern in America. So, they are more health conscious and they want great taste in their snacks.

Studies show that millenials' eating habits are causing a shake-up in the snack food industry. During SNAXPO 2015, the Snack Food Association's annual convention recently held in Orlando, Florida, the state of savory snacks was given a lot of attention to get an idea for industry market trends. One predominant snacking trend is how millenials' eating habits have carved a niche in the constantly changing food landscape. 

Millenials include those who are 18 to 34, have overtaken baby boomers in numbers and have their own purchasing power.

Talks by Phil Lempert, author and food industry expert, and Jared Koerten, Euromonitor International senior analyst during the SNAXPO 2015, highlighted how millennials' eating habits are changing the way people snack. Millenials are driving the change in the way snacks are packed with more nutrition and a shift from junk food. This trend appears to be "thriving in this new landscape."

"While they are the most highly educated of any generation, they are also deeper in debt than any other," Koerten of Euromonitor International said in a statement.

"However, while low-paying jobs and high debt may be keeping millennials from traditional life steps such as getting married, buying homes and having children, they are ready to spend the money they do have on food."

Mr. Koerten noted that the millennials grew up thinking about preventing or managing obesity. Millenials' snacking habits reflect a preoccupation with healthy foods, which in turn, has given rise to explosive growth in brands such as Skinny Pop and Kind.

Millennials' eating habits are also influenced by their diversity since they grew up in a global society that reflects the tastes of a generation that is the most ethnically diverse. Typically, millenials' are into interesting flavor combinations. An example is "sweet flavors for limited-time-only products," like Cinnamon Sugar Pringles.

"Millennials want connection and community and they get it around food," said Lempert. "We need to watch carefully what millennials are eating because they are driving the trends."

"Trends revolve around healthy eating, home cooking, gourmet ingredients, innovative flavor combinations, on-the-go eating and snacking as meal replacement. It's in these trends that the snack industry can - and has - found continued growth in the past few years," Euromonitor International reported.

Millennials have an obsession with healthy eating habits and enjoy home cooked meals, creating a bigger market for snack producers. 72% of millennials who are home cooks would like to improve their kitchen skills while, 75% are interested in more recipes.

The snack industry is now under the impression that educating consumers about snacks as enhancing home-cooked meals may provide a new way for consumers to think about snacks.

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