Brand Extension
ProdigyWorks: Keeping up with the Ever-Changing Food Consumer


Just as the food we consume changes, consumer preferences and tastes are constantly evolving.  No other time has that been truer than in 2018. With that in mind, how can companies continue to advance their strategies to appeal to new consumers and keep their existing customers satisfied?

Much of the shift in food trends over the last 10 years has to do with the sizable demographic dominating food spending – millennials. Loosely defined as people born from the early 1980s until about 2004, millennials are the largest U.S. age demographic, and as such are central in defining and evolving current food tastes and preferences. These tastemakers are helping to decide what we’ll find in grocery stores and restaurants across the country and have a huge influence on food manufacturers decision-making.

Here are some patterns we see that are important to millennial food spenders and what innovative manufacturers should consider as they strategize to appeal to these powerhouse eaters.


authenticity-8 Authenticity:  Consumers are looking for bold, well-crafted, healthy and nutritious foods.  They want companies to be upfront with what ingredients are in their foods. The typical millennial is savvy in their understanding of food production and they want to know how their food is made. Health and wellness are at the front of their minds.  As a result, food producers are starting to listen to consumer demands for transparency about ingredients and sources.  We will continue to see more informative food labels on store products in grocery store aisles and sources and descriptions on restaurant menu items.




Convenience:  Convenience used to mean making a meal in 30 minutes or less.  But with changing preferences and growing technologies convenience is being redefined.  Now, consumers can go to UberEats or Grubhub. They can go into the local grocery store and pick up a prepared meal already made. The choices are much greater. Millennials are at the forefront of this trend. According to the International Food Information Council’s 2017 Food and Health Survey, 55% of millennials note convenience as a top driver when buying food. Millennials are the influencers behind meal kits, grocery delivery services, food trucks, online ordering and the growth of heat-and-eat options at grocery stores.






Customization: Millennials are described as curious and adventurous. They like trying new flavors, love different cuisines and won’t shy away from exotic foods. At the same time, they want custom flavors and to personalize their meals. This interest in variety and flavors has caused more restaurants to embrace customization. Customization allows consumers to feel as if they have control over their food experiences. If you notice more quick-service restaurants and grocery store hot food sections offering customizable options, it’s to appeal to this growing demand.

There are a variety of opportunities for food and beverage businesses in 2018, and an exciting time for growth and expansion, but staying on top of changing customer needs and understanding millennial preferences will be vital for success in this competitive marketplace.

Our ProdigyWorks team will be on the floor of this week’s Natural Products Expo West event, looking at trends, new products and innovation shaping the world of food and beverage. If you’re planning on being at Expo West in sunny California, let us know. We love the chance to say hello and talk about innovation in the food space.





Subscribe to our Newsletter

Read up on current news, events and happenings throughout the industry.

View Our Case Studies

See how we’ve helped countless brands reach their full potential.