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How Millennials Are Changing Food Industry Choices

Article Manager Insights Active Equity
October 2016
How Millennials Are Changing Food Industry Choices

Authors and Contributors

David M. Sealy

David M. Sealy

Changing US consumption patterns are forcing big change in the food industry. Millennials don't eat three square meals a day like their parents. Millennials graze, often eating just one meal a day, supplemented with three to four nutritious snacks. This new way of eating favors small local food companies whose brands emphasize quality ingredients and sell through non-traditional channels with higher ‘snack occasion' penetration.

Large companies are slowly responding. Some snacking leaders are launching new products, such as plant-based chips and nut snacks and repositioning ad campaigns to stress ingredient quality. Other companies have resorted to small bolt-on acquisitions to meet these consumer demands. However, most large-scale food companies acknowledge their inherent disadvantages on this new playing field and are focusing more on margin management to grow earnings. Some also view large-scale consolidation as a way to facilitate this margin strategy. Time will tell if these changes are durable and if larger snack manufacturers can adapt.

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