A recent survey released by the West Coast poultry powerhouse Foster Farms, reveals that the attitudes of Millennials in regards to food concerns, consumer interests, and purchasing behaviors and preferences are significantly steering the food industry in a new direction.
Millennials, particularly Millennial parents, are now demanding options for organic, antibiotic-free, responsibly-raised livestock and poultry cuts of meat.
When looking to the survey, many cited traditional values and the feedback of peers as key influencing factors in making decisions on where and what to purchase. Although availability and pricing were cited as being of some importance, almost one in three respondents considered “antibiotic free” or “organic” to be the most important aspects when choosing fresh poultry.
The survey conducted by MetrixLab in partnership with Foster Farms looked at 1,872 parents in the Millennial age bracket and found that, upon having children, consumption habits of the participants were likely to change. In fact, 74 percent reported that grocery purchases changed significantly due to peer/community influence. However, despite the fact that demand for organic products is at a record high, many consumers on the West Coast admittedly reported feeling confused by the various labeling terms on meat and poultry items.
Other key findings from the study are as follows:
- 85 percent of Millennial parents cited a change in meat and poultry purchasing criteria, with 42 percent of this pool believing that becoming parents accounted for this change, while 32 percent looked to becoming better educated on the origins of food as the primary reason for the shift in preferences
- 79 percent of those surveyed agreed that they are more concerned than the previous generation about antibiotics and chemicals used in food production
- Roughly 80 percent said that purchasing humanely raised poultry and meat selections was of more importance in their purchasing habits than previously noted years ago
- 81 percent claimed that they make an effort to purchase locally-raised meat, preferably from their own state when possible
Significantly, off all the issues examined, the most concerning three issues cited by Millennial parents of the survey were:
- Use of antibiotics in food production
- Use of steroids and hormones in meats and dairy
- Overall food safety standards and measures.
These findings reveal that a generation expecting responsibly-raised meat selections should inevitably prompt food industry movers and shakers at all levels of the manufacturing chain to change production practices or face losing business in the wake of the demand for organic food.