As marketing interests continue to try to crack the elusive, inscrutable millennial, more and more truths and theories emerge. For example, millennials don’t like big box stores, or branded wines, and they don’t like to cook. But there is one area, besides ethical snacks, that millennials appear to be very interested in: frozen food. While some reports, like a recent one from NPR, say that the frozen food industry had been flatlining as a percentage of overall supermarket sales, The Boston Globe reports today that “Americans in general are buying more frozen food, with volume growing in 2018 for the first time in five years, according to David Palmer, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets.” And some of that boost, says the Globe, can be traced to millennials.
After all, many of today’s young people are waiting longer to get married (if they ever take the plunge at all). So they’re not preparing huge meals for families, but require single-size portions. This makes them a perfect market for frozen food: They’re ideal for people who just want to eat food quickly, relatively cheaply, and can’t cook anyway. Also, millennial vegans and vegetarians can find plenty of meatless options in the frozen food aisle.
This new market has inspired a concerted effort by frozen food suppliers. The Jolly Green Giant invade Times Square on a pair of 90-feet-tall LED displays. TV dinner staples like Banquet are exploring re-brands to better appeal to the millennial diner.
And let’s not minimize the importance of product placement. After several years of slump, Kellogg’s is seeing a boost again, thanks to a surge in Eggo sales—likely brought on by the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. After all, the toaster waffle is Eleven’s favorite treat.