Are Millennials Ruining Cooking, Too?!

If you believe the internet, and the older guy whose cubicle is across from yours who won’t stop complaining about “kids today”, you would assume that millennials are destroying everything the Baby Boomers built and that the Gen Xers took advantage of.

We’re told they’re entitled. That they don’t know the value of hard work. That they expect everything to be handed to them. That participation trophies have turned them into accolade-seeking drones that are incapable of doing anything if there isn’t a prize hiding at the bottom. In other words…what every older generation has said about every younger generation since the beginning of human civilization.

“Go out and get a job! Pyramids don’t build themselves!”

While most of the dire warnings we read about millennials aren’t true, there are certainly differences, and many of them center around food.

Millennials Love Convenience

If there were one word which perfectly summed the generation’s prevailing attitudes toward food, it’s “convenience”. It’s not that they don’t like to cook. They do. They just don’t want to work that hard for it. According to a survey carried about by The Spoon, 95% of millennials, compared to 92% of Gen Xers say they like to cook at home, but only 26% of them say they’ll spend more than an hour cooking. The other 74% either prepare a simple meal that takes a half hour or less, or heat up a frozen, prepared meal.

And while millennials do enjoy cooking, that don’t do it as frequently as older generations. They order takeout at the highest rate of every generation before them. They also go out to eat more frequently than previous generations. For millennials, food simply isn’t something they’re interested in putting a lot of thought into. They want good food, quickly, whether it’s delivered, they go out for it, or they make it themselves. This doesn’t mean they’re lazy, mind you. They simply choose to invest their limited energy in other areas. Like complaining about having to work so hard, amirite?!

Millennials Are Better Educated About Food Quality

But they don’t necessarily use that knowledge until they have the discretionary funds to buy higher quality foods. A report by the U.S Department of Agriculture found that millennials spent the least on food-at-home than any other generation, and at lower income levels they tended to buy more processed and sugary foods. However, as their income levels grow the percentage of fresh vegetables in their food-at-home budget goes up, eclipsing every other generation. It would appear that millennials know a thing or two about healthy eating, more so than previous generations, but their desire for convenience tends to win out when they’re cash strapped.

Interestingly, millennials are redefining what healthy eating means. Older generations are far more likely to check nutritional labels than millenials. Millennials are more concerned about the provenance of the food they eat. They want to know that it was sustainably sourced. That it’s organic. For them, healthy has less to do with what’s in the food and more to do with how it was grown and sourced. As a result millennials are much easier to fool with pictures of leaves and cows in fields printed on food packaging.

Millennials Hate Grocery Stores

Remember…convenience. Driving to a grocery store and walking up and down the aisles collecting your food is such a drag, man! Who needs it? Not millennials. According to a report published by the Food Marketing Institute and reported by eMarketer, in 2017 43% of millennial respondents said they had purchased food from an online grocery store, compared to half that number of Gen Xers. It appears that when millennials do shop for their own food they try much harder than older generations not to leave the house.

So Yeah…Millennials Are the Worst!

The nerve of those kids, choosing to live their lives differently than us, opting for a different, but perfectly valid, set of priorities. Who do they think they are?! Oh right…adults that can do what they please.


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