Millennials get accused of ruining everything. Chain restaurants, shopping malls, Harley-Davidson, common decency… the list goes on and on.
Still, tastes change, and certain items are destined to become extinct in the modern era with or without the aid of millennials and their strange ways. One of the places this phenomenon is most apparent? The food industry. Blame it on Instagram, or millennials, or celebrity chefs, but no matter who’s responsible, the facts are undeniable. Reliable steak and potatoes have been replaced by avocado toast and kombucha.
Ahead, check out some foods that run the risk of dying with the boomer generation.
1. Canned foods
Millennial shoppers have an obsession with fresh fruits and vegetables and the canned good industry is feeling the pain.
As health-conscious shoppers are being encouraged to stay out of the center aisles and focus on fresh items at the grocery store rather than anything pre-packaged, canned soups and vegetables just aren’t as popular anymore.
Fruitcake is the butt of every joke around the holidays, but still, these dense, sugar-filled cakes keep on coming. However, with the millennials’ obsession with health and fitness, it’s possible that universally despised fruitcakes will eventually disappear from the holiday party circuit once and for all.
Next: Jell-O salad
3. Jell-O salad
It’s super cool to be vegan these days, and when you’re following a vegan lifestyle, you stay away from gelatin. That’s good news for horses — but bad news for Great Aunt Edna’s famous marshmallow Jell-O salad. It may never see the light of another family gathering.
Next: TV dinners
4. TV dinners
Convenience factor aside, TV dinners aren’t exactly the healthiest option. These sodium and preservative packed dinner options were popular twenty years ago, but times have changed. Now they’re seen as unnecessary and kind of gross.
It could have something to do with millennials reading nutrition labels and forgoing anything with too many unpronounceable ingredients. Sticking to pure, whole foods leaves no room for the pre-packaged frozen dinners.
Part of the reason that the cereal industry is suffering the same fate as all the other items on the list — cereal is located in the center aisles of the grocery store with all that processed, unhealthy food that millennials try to avoid. But it turns out that’s the only problem with cereal.
Market research firm Mintel found that millennials stopped eating cereal because it was too difficult to clean up. Instead, young shoppers are looking for convenient, portable breakfast foods to consume on the go — if they’re eating breakfast at all.
Next: Big Macs
6. Big Macs
Only one in five millennials have ever tried a Big Mac. It turns out they like fast, convenient food options, but they don’t enjoy traditional fast food from a drive-thru. Overall, McDonald’s sales are stagnant, which represents a departure from the 1 to 2% increase they were enjoying in previous years.
National beer brands aren’t pulling in millennials the same way they did for boomers, and sales are suffering.
They may enjoy an occasional craft beer, but in general, millennials are more likely to purchase wine and liquor. As Joao Castro Neves, North American president and CEO at Anheuser-Busch InBev told AdAge, “If this trend continues at the pace it is today, by 2030 beer will no longer have the largest share in the alcohol category.”
Eating too much sugar is bad for you. Eating fake sugar is worse.
In a world that has natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave, and stevia, there’s no need for potentially carcinogenic sugar substitutes like Sweet’n Low.
Next: Fake cheese
9. Fake cheese
Cheese product, squeeze cheese, imitation cheese — there’s just no need for artificial cheese, even if it is cheaper. Millennials are much more likely to splurge on fresh artisanal cheese than they are to purchase faux cheese items.
Soda sales are slipping, and it’s partly because millennials just aren’t buying it like their parents did. Coke is most popular with consumers 35 to 44 while Pepsi is preferred for adults 65 and older.
Millennials? They aren’t drinking either.
It seems strange that millennials are capable of killing an entire meal, but still, facts are facts. And your midday sandwich with a bag of chips may be at risk.
It turns out that the millennial generation is more interested in snacking than they are with traditional meals, especially for lunch. The NPD Group predicts that replacing meals with snacks will increase by 12% by 2024.
It’s bland, boring, time-consuming to cook, and doesn’t photograph well on Instagram. These are some of the reasons a classic meatloaf runs the risk of going the way of the dinosaurs.
Next: Juice from concentrate
13. Juice from concentrate
Fresh-squeezed juice will always have a place in modern society, but the frozen kind that comes in a can seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Millennials aren’t buying juice from concentrate, even if their parents and grandparents loved it.
Next: Vienna sausages
14. Vienna sausages
There’s really nothing grosser than meat that comes in a can. Boomers might have enjoyed this weird concoction, but future generations prefer to snack on locally raised, grass-fed beef instead.
It turns out fat isn’t bad for you — but hydrogenated oils are terrible. Paula Deen will be pleased to learn that you’re better off eating butter than you are scarfing down the fake stuff.
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