We have seen the future, and it is fresh: fresh food, that is. Market research firm The NPD Group recently updated their market report on the future of eating, and they found that fresh food consumption is expected to rise by 11 percent in the next five years. The youngest generations, Generation Z (age 0 to 23) and Millennials (age 24 to 37), are the primary drivers of this trend.
The study reported forecasts for all three meals. Fresh food consumption at breakfast is expected to rise by nine percent over the next five years, while lunch and dinner boast prospective growth of seven percent and five percent, respectively. Snacking is expected to follow the same trend, with freshness and nutrition rivaling convenience in importance to consumers.
Many Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) are already tending to eat better in order to stay healthier for longer. Now Millennials are joining this healthy eating trend—favoring foods that are high in protein, calcium, and whole grains and low in fat, sodium, and sugar.
USConnect’s vending machines and Bistro To Go! offer many of the fresh foods that meet the needs of all generations. Look for The Right Choice… For a Healthier You™ on many of USConnect’s fresh items, like healthy chef’s salads, protein-rich Greek yogurt, and delicious artisan sandwiches. These offerings mirror the perimeter of the grocery store: the areas where shoppers find fresh dairy, deli, and produce. Experts urge “shopping the perimeter” to find the freshest foods while avoiding overly-processed, unhealthy ones.
More and more workplaces want to attract Millennials and their younger counterparts, Generation Z. To attract and retain health- and freshness-conscious consumers, businesses will do well to offer a large selection of fresh and healthy foods that employees can access throughout the day. This will be the payoff: happier and healthier employees!