View of Millennials and How They View Beef

Rest of Story # 1

Coming home from Denver and the ANCW Summer Conference, our Southwest flight
attendant announced :  “One for the money, two for the show, three – we’ve
been cleared for takeoff, and four to go.  Have a good flight.”  It sounded
like some of the old Southwest humor.

The weather man kept announcing we would have heavy rain and it was a brief
shower, while the television showed Pueblo with flooding.  A friend from
Texas said she was still in a drought, with only a third of an inch while
nearby her ranch others had two inches of rain.

“Meet the Millennial” was the theme of the conference.   Millennials
currently range in age from 13 to 32.  At 80 million, the Millennial
generation is even larger than the Baby Boomers – currently almost 30
percent of all adults and roughly 27 percent of the total population.
Millennials are the most connected generation.  They are 2.5 times more
likely than older generations to be an early adopter of technology.   Social
media is their source of information and entertainment, and drives their
decision- making.  This makes them difficult to market to.
39 % live with parents now or moved back in with part temporarily because of

They were born between 1980 through 2000, known as the Net generation, GenY, Echo Boomers; Trophy Generation.   They are optimistic, always connected, institutions are irrelevant, fast multi-taskers, connected with parents, feel entitled, educated, little experience and not loyal to brands or employers.

Millennials are more ethnically diverse with more African Americans,
Hispanic and Asian than previous generations.  75% of Millenials use social
networking sites, 1 in 5 have posted a video of themselves online ( 3x more
than other generations.)   37% of those ages 18 – 29 were unemployed in
2011.   31% of Generation X has an advanced degree and Millenials are
expected to surpass that.  45% of Millennials feel they would eat more at
home if they weren’t so time starved.  The majority (74%) of Millennials
feel technology makes life easier.  Source:  Pew Study 2010, US Census.
The Older Millennial Mindset – Beef is an important, valued choice and it
can be healthy and muscle building.  Yet it also gives impressions of
overweight and masculine.  Those committed to health or the environment are
not near as predisposed to be “beef people”.  Simple, versatile cuts is
where it’s at.  They are apprehensive about exploring the full range that
beef has to offer due to a lack of knowledge of cuts, and how to cook them.
If the pressure is on, it’s too much of a risk to do something new with
beef.  Source: Millennial Generation and Beef, Conversion, (MG&B,C) Dec.

Convenience and health concerns make Millennial parents cautious beef
users.  46% said they don’t find beef to be convenient to cook for children.
55% said it isn’t healthy to give children too much red meat.  65% said my
children prefer chicken over beef.   55% said I cook beef for the adults in
the house differently than I do the children.  60% said I try to moderate
how much red meat I feed them.  52% said I find it hard to make a variety of
meals with beef for them.  Source: MG&B, C Dec. 2011.

Millennials are finding it hard to get the flavor and the tenderness right.
Over-cooking and the overall tenderness is also a challenge, but underdone isn’t as
much as a  problem.   Millennials are buying leaner cuts of beef; going for
the lower fat, and less expensive beef options which means they are eating
the less flavorful cuts to begin with.  Source: MG&B, Dec. 2011.

A lack of confidence, lack of understanding, and need for information.
Source: MP&B, C, Nov. 2012.  57% wish they could find easy ideas online for
ways to season or marinade a steak.  55% would like more information on
preparing and serving beef to children.  54% say it’s hard to know what cuts
to choose in the meat case.  67% would like to see trained butchers on staff
to provide cooking advice.  81% have a specific recipe in mind when they buy

They are digital consumers.  Their indexes are high for: Listening to
streaming radio; watching TV shows/movies online; seeking out recipes
online; reading books on e-readers; using mobile devices to access the net.
Source: 2011 MRI Doublebase.

Staying constantly connected, 16% post pictures of food they have ordered at
restaurants on social networks;  0% post recipes on social networks;  21%
have posted pictures of food  they cooked  on social networks; 60% talk to
friends about food and 69% talk to family members about food.
Reliable sources for food and nutrition information:  49% chose websites
with recipes; 35% talking to family and friends; 35% tv cooking or food
shows;  33% websites with health information;  20% cooking and lifestyle
magazines;  15% USDA;  14% social media from friends posts on facebook or
pinterest.  13% store displays/store information;  12 % pediatrician; 12 %
on food and cooking blogs.  Source: Millennial Parents and Beef, Conversion,
Nov. 2012.

The same source cited these as reliable website resources.  33%; 13 %; 9%;  8%; 7%;  5%; 2% Betty Crocker and;
1 % and

Pinterest lead social media sites by 51%; 36% Facebook, Google+ was 4%;
YouTube and Twitter were 3%.

Millennials make decisions by looking to: Online recipes, social media,
online ratings, Pinterest, Facebook, Groupon, YouTube, and traditional

Millennials ask: How many stars are in the ranking?  Do my friends, or
people like me, like the product?  Will they teach me how to use the product
with video?  Does Justin (Timberlake)  tweet about it?

For the beef community to meet the Millennial needs, we need to remember
they must have Digital Connection.  They have short attention span; Their
phone is their resource to life; Mobile (phones/tablets) are just part of
life, and growing up.  Trust of online resources.  Inherent need to “get
credit” through social.

We need to be online.  Engage in social media.  Rethink printed materials.
Think visually.  Meet them where they are.  Seeing is believing.
Millennials relationship with cooking:  Don’t have a lot of time or money.
Cooking doesn’t come easy.  Relying on ground beef.  Don’t like failure.
Need  solution for their life stage, which is not meat and potatoes.  Choose
easy recipes with few ingredients.  Start “small” and instill confidence.
Our production of beef and how we raise it, has to be a conversation, not a
marketing gimmick.   We shouldn’t assume we know what they want.
We need to showcase beef in the most nutritious ways possible.  Share family
friendly recipes.  What they feed their children and family is important to
them.  Health is more than nutrition.  Share the nutrient package story.
Make it real for Millennials and what beef can do for their lives.
The Millennials want to make a difference and have a say in the products
they choose.  We must be transparent and real.  Let them know we’re
listening and learning from what we’re hearing.

Give the Millennials what they want: a voice and a choice.
This study was funded by The Beef Checkoff.  Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner.

Jean Barton
August 7, 2013