- Millennials are twice as likely as previous generations to not trust major food companies, with 43% of millennials reporting distrust versus only 18% of older adults, according to a recent Mintel study.
- Nearly three out of four millennials surveyed said they want food companies to be more transparent about how they make their products, which was slightly more than older generations.
- Millennials are also more inclined to make multiple trips to the grocery store instead of going once a week, and while they shop, they tend to be more focused on freshness than older generations and buy less processed foods.
This shift from processed foods, distrust of major food companies by millennials, growing concerns about ingredients, and issues surrounding GMOs, animal welfare, and antibiotics have been referred to as "The War on Big Food." But not all food industry leaders agree such a war exists.
"I think we need to think of this not as a war, but as a contest to be the trusted party," Greg Page, executive chairman of Cargill Inc., said at a "food security summit" hosted by the Economic Club of Minnesota last week.
"Consumer food values are changing — they are always changing — but with this millennium generation, they are changing faster," General Mills’ COO Jeff Harmening said at the summit. "There is no doubt that consumers are demanding real food, and when we give it to them, they respond."