Millennials Are Changing Food Culture - Here's How
Millennials value health, taste, and experience among food. Here are the top 20 trendy food preferences that’ll have you begging for more than avocado toast.
Do Millennials do food better? The lure of buzzing breakfast joints serving up creamy avocado toast calls to the Millennial souls like nothing else. Perhaps it’s because Millennials actually do like the taste of avocados. Or maybe it’s because they’re showing up just for the experience.

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I have to admit, I am 31-years-old and am classified as a Millennial. As a product of my generation, I have tried all of the classic “Millennial” foods including avocados, kale, kombucha, and quinoa bowls. 

Our baby boomer parents may have grown up on McDonald’s, Jell-O salad, and Cheez Whiz, but Millennials have something so much better. Millennials are blending trendy foods with health and experience.

Here are the top 20 foods that Millennials obsess over and how they are changing the American food landscape.

Avocados

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Avocados

More than 60% of Millennial households purchased avocados compared to just over 50% of non-Millennial households, according to a Hass Avocado Board study.

So, what gives? Popular diets, like keto and Whole30, tout that avocados are a healthy source of fat. Plus, they taste amazing. A dash of salt and a squeeze of lime make for a tasty snack.

Kombucha

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that may have probiotic benefits. It has also been shown to improve LDL and HDL cholesterol levels which are two markers of heart disease, according to a rat study from Tunisia.

Though kombucha is an ancient tea that originated in northeast China, the popularity has grown overnight. I admit, this drink may be a fad, but you ain’t cool if you’re not sipping the tea. But that’s none of my business.

Quinoa

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Quinoa

Gone are the days of mashed potato sides and plain white rice. Millennials are opting for quinoa, a gluten-free seed that is prepared and eaten much like a grain. Fast-casual restaurant Panera Bread picked up on this trend by offering choices like the Baja Grain Bowl or the Mediterranean Grain Bowl.

Millennials are willing to pay a little more for the nutritional benefits. In a Nielsen report, Gen Z and Millennials are more willing to pay a premium for health attributes.

A quick price check at my local Kroger revealed a 32-ounce bag of white rice is $1.49 versus $3.79 for the 16-ounce bag of quinoa. Though there are ways to lower your food bill and still make healthy food choices.

Chia seeds

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Chia Seeds

There’s no doubt that Millennials are blending food choices with health benefits and that’s why chia seeds make the list. These babies are packed with omega-3s and fiber which can help you regulate your digestive system and fight heart disease.

The best way Millennials are eating them? Mixing them into protein shakes, oatmeal, and acai bowls. When mixed with liquids, they plump up and can create a thickening effect. Some Millennials are even making their own chia seed pudding. 

Anything vegan

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Vegan

Basically. Even if they aren’t fully vegan, Millennials seem to love to indulge in meals that are plant-based. I don’t consider myself vegan (I mean, bacon, am I right?) but I have dabbled in vegan-only restaurants just to see if a tempeh patty really tastes like a beef patty. Surprisingly, it’s pretty good. Due largely to my Midwest roots, I’ll still be eating meat, though.

Eating vegan food isn’t just for health reasons. My reason to try vegan food was for the experience. Would I enjoy it? Would it be a food faux-pas that I could dish about to my friends? That’s what makes the true cost of vegan food fun and pro-Millennial.

Bulletproof coffee

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Bulletproof coffee

Made popular by Dave Asprey, creator of the Bulletproof Diet, Bulletproof coffee is a caffeinated concoction that contains grass-fed butter, sometimes coconut oil, and MCT oil. The coffee has become popular among paleo eaters, low-carb dieters, and health-conscious Millennials.

Ghee, non-clarified butter, makes the coffee creamy and provides quality fats. The MCT oil is highly ketogenic which raises ketones in your body. The ketones are burned up throughout the day inducing a weight-loss result. Tasty + caffeinated + healthy = a Millennials dream beverage.

Organic potato chips

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Organic potato chips

While Millennials are eating fresher foods, they still like potato chips. Healthy choices are at the forefront though, so what’s better than fatty, oily potato chips? Organic potato chips! Take a gander through the chip aisle and you’ll find a smattering of organic chips for purchase.

Terra Exotic Vegetable Chips find their way on the shelf next to Ruffles and Lays and they’re gaining traction. At nearly $4 a bag, you might be wondering why anyone would pay double the price. Well, the only ingredients are quality oil, sea salt, and dehydrated veggies. Easy-to-read ingredients make this a Millennial-approved snack that they are willing to splurge on. 

Cauliflower

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Cauliflower

Whether you’re a fan or not, cauliflower is making the Millennial foodie list because of the ability to make them into buffalo bites and pizza pie crusts.

Not to mention cauliflower rice and creamy mash that rivals mashed potatoes. Recipes transform those little white trees into an appetizer worthy of making an appearance at your next party.

Kale

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Kale

Oh, kale yes I put this on the list. This versatile leafy green works well in a salad, soups, and superfood smoothies. Most leafy greens are full of healthy vitamins and minerals, and kale is no different.

Spaghetti squash

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Spaghetti squash

Okay, so spaghetti squash doesn’t actually taste like spaghetti but it’s a darn good substitute for pasta.

For carb-adverse Millennials, baked spaghetti squash can be used as a vehicle for tomato sauce or layered into a noodle-free lasagna. Try it sometime. You won’t miss the pasta.

Ground turkey

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Ground turkey

Take a look at the menu next time you’re in your favorite burger joint and you might just find that a turkey patty makes the menu.

Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to ground beef which makes this a Millennial favorite. The best part? Ground turkey can replace beef in virtually any recipe. When well seasoned, you may not even notice the difference in taste. 

Milk alternatives

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Milk alternatives

I’m sure you’ve seen the milk alternatives in the dairy section. Soy milk has been around forever, but now there are more choices.

Almond milk, coconut milk, and oat milk are all vying for a spot on the dairy shelf. You can even find hemp milk and rice milk! Plus, added flavors like vanilla and chocolate make this a great choice for smoothies.

Sweet potatoes

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Sweet potatoes

I used to hate sweet potatoes. Then I learned how to make them correctly. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes and you’ll get crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside sweet potatoes. You might just find sweet potato fries regularly on restaurant menus, too.

Acai bowls

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Acai Bowl

Acai bowls are just a fancy name for a half-frozen smoothie adorned with chia seeds and berries. But dang, is it tasty. Rather than reaching for a sugary donut, Millennials are ordering acai bowls. The ironic thing is that acai bowls are still loaded with sugar. 

Protein powder

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Protein Powder

While technically not a food, protein powders of all varieties catch the attention of Millennials. Protein powders are especially common among weight lifters and athletes. Whether you choose plant-based or whey, protein powders have become cheaper and more accessible. 

In fact, the global protein supplements market size was estimated at more than $17 billion last year, according to report by Grand View Research. Millennials might find protein supplements more appealing because their easy to prepare and are conducive to a hectic lifestyle.

Meal delivery

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Meal delivery

Convenience is important when it comes to food. Millennials spend significantly less time on food prep and clean up, according to a USDA report.

Food delivery boxes like app德扑圈官方网址home Chef and Freshly provide healthy meals to your door. In fact, a Freshly box already comes prepared so all you need to do is heat up your dinner in a microwave. This beats the true cost of eating out and could save you money. To give you a sense of which meal delivery service might be right, here’s a comparison table of some of the most popular services:

 app德扑圈官方网址home ChefFreshlyEveryPlateHelloFreshBlue ApronSunBasket
Best ForWeekly recipe rotations for all skill levels and dietary preferences.Chef prepared meals that are ready without any extra preparation or clean-up.Affordable and delicious weekly meals delivered right to your door.Flexible plans, offering the greatest variety of recipes and meals.Chef-designed recipes include balanced Mediterranean meals and quick one-pan dinners.Certified organic and sustainable meals made with antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and seafood.
Price per meal$8.99$8.99$4.99
$8.99$9.99$10.99
Minimum order2 meals / 2 plates12 meals3 meals / 2 plates2 meals / 2 plates3 meals / 2 plates4 recipes for 2 people
Delivery CostStarts at $6.99 per orderApplicable shipping charges will appear upon checkout$8.99$6.99Free$6.99 per order
Vegetarian plansYesYesNoYesYes, 2 - person plan onlyYes
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Our Score9.7/109.4/109/109.6/109/109/10

Halo Top ice cream

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Halo top

Speaking of sugar, have you had Halo Top ice cream yet? If you’re under 30, you probably have! Halo Top actually has less sugar and fewer calories than your run-of-the-mill Haagan-Dazs, which makes this a favorite.

Available in fun flavors, like Birthday Cake and Red Velvet, some Millenials are even replacing their Ben & Jerry’s with Halo Top. 

Cold-brew coffee

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Cold Brew

Coffee has always been a strong part of American food culture. The rise of cold-brew has younger generations fawning over the beverage so much, it’s popping up in cafes and grocery stores alike.

Cold-brew is highly concentrated coffee made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for several hours or overnight. The cold brewing process produces a coffee that is less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee, meaning that your stomach might thank you for the switch to cold brew. 

Overnight oats

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Overnight oats

Meal prep time is important when you lead a busy lifestyle. Overnight oats are the perfect breakfast solution to avoid “hangry” symptoms when you need to rush out the door. Add a milk alternative to some oats in a mason jar, maybe even a little honey or maple syrup, and pop in the fridge. The next day, top your oats with fresh fruit and you are ready to dig in.

Chick-Fil-A

Millennials Are Changing Food Culture One Avocado At A Time - Here's How - Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A?! You thought Millennials were all about healthy foods, right? Wrong. Chick-Fil-A rounds out my list because Millennials award higher than average brand equity to casual dining and chicken restaurants, according to The Harris Poll.

Chick-Fil-A has adapted to Millennials’ lifestyle by offering a mobile app to order online and creating a rewards program. If there’s a point system involved to get free food, you can bet that I’m signing up! 

Who doesn’t love those waffle fries?

Summary

If you want to eat like a Millennial, you have to order like a Millennial. Meal delivery services like Freshly and app德扑圈官方网址home Chef make it easy to stay on top of healthy living. You’ll feel so good by the end of the week, indulging in Chick-Fil-A seems pointless. Just kidding. Chick-Fil-A is never pointless.

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About the

Total Articles: 15
Justine Nelson is a personal finance freelance writer and YouTuber. She enjoys teaching millennials how to eliminate debt and live a debt free lifestyle. Justine paid off $35k in student loan debt in two and a half years on a $37k income. Connect with her on Instagram or her website Debt Free Millennials.

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