Blog: Mutual Attraction: Appealing to Millennials
With research showing millennials enjoy eating out more than any other generation[i], Beacon, Britain’s leading purchasing company, is sharing some top tips on how to attract this crucial audience.
Alice Bexon, Purchasing Manager at Beacon, commented:
“There is no denying that millennials are rapidly re-shaping the way establishments operate. With many younger consumers adopting a plant-based diet or avoiding alcohol, there’s a definite shift happening in the industry. Whether it’s refreshing drinks menus, expanding vegan options or prioritising the aesthetics of a dish for sharing on social media, we’ve compiled our top tips to get ahead of the competition and capitalise on millennial tastes.”
In recent years, there has been a phenomenal rise in consumer generated food photography, with diners displaying a strong desire to get that perfect picture for social media, and restaurants are reacting to this[ii]. Arguably one of the biggest drivers of footfall and revenue, it is more important than ever before to make food visually appealing to attract snap happy customers, and to create an advantage over competitors for those social posts and reviews. Beacon’s supplier, Classic Fresh Foods believes operators can create a pleasing aesthetic by incorporating colourful vegetables or edible flowers to dishes, with popular varieties including borage, apple blossom and chive flowers. The bar is set higher than ever, with operators expected not only to create delicious food but to present it in an ‘instagramable’ way[iii] to attract that social media savvy audience. We recommend bright colours, fresh ingredients and thinking about how a dish will look when developing new menu inclusions.
Green is good
Following this year’s earlier success of Vegan-uary[iv], Beacon’s supplier, Ribble Farm, has recognised that there has been a significant rise in consumers choosing plant-based lifestyles, making it key for operators include and expand these options. Eating the rainbow is well known as a health boosting lifestyle choice[v] and there are more and more options available to consumers going meat free. From the rise of courgette spaghetti, and the substitution of robust mushrooms for chicken in dishes like fajitas, vegetables are basking in the spotlight.
While tofu remains the most popular meat alternative, aubergine is hot on its heels along with a wider range of spiralised options. Ribble Farm is seeing increasing popularity in butternut squash noodles and carrot spaghetti, along with cauliflower proving its versatility in the form of rice and even steaks. With an estimated 540,000 vegans in the UK[vi] and more restaurants adding vegan dishes to their menus, it’s clear the need for vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes is going nowhere. Establishments would benefit from being inventive with offerings to attract millennials, who are part of the age group most likely to adopt a vegan lifestyle[vii].
Embracing the no
Following the healthy living trend, the number of adults choosing to lead teetotal lifestyles is also on the rise. The most recent ONS figures show that young people are the most likely to say no to alcohol, with 27% of 16-24 year olds not drinking at all[viii], as highlighted by our supplier Oranka Juice Solutions. With this in mind, it is important that operators enhance the appeal of their soft drinks offering to remain competitive. We would also recommend taking this opportunity to introduce interesting new flavours such as elderflower, peach and redberry, which are seen as higher quality and can add value to mocktails.