During the Idaho Cattlemens’ 100 year convention, the Idaho Beef Council hosted a millennial panel during their luncheon. The millennials were chosen by an outside party and were not in any way affiliated with the IBC staff, programs or colleagues. The panelists represented the millennial generation by being between the ages of 22 and 35. Some of the panelists were married and had children, others were either single parents or not currently in relationships.
Millennials continue to be the target audience for the beef industry. Most millennials currently eat beef 1-2 times each week, and represent the largest buying demographic since the baby boomers. Millennials make up more than 11 million U.S. households. They are interested in where their food comes from, are health-conscious, and want easy-to-prepare flavorful meals. They are more engaged through social media than any other generation and often dismiss traditional media including television and radio. Most millennials average around 17 hours per week of online engagement.
During the lunch, producers had an opportunity to ask the panelists questions about their views on the beef industry. Top concerns included beef production methods such as hormone use, antibiotic resistance, beef prices and health concerns. Almost all of the millennials ate beef at least once a week, but often chose a cheaper protein such as ground turkey over ground beef. One surprising insight was that when dining out, most millennials did choose to order beef because they don’t eat it at home as much. Most of the millennials sourced their information about beef production via online sources such as Facebook, Buzzfeed, Pinterest and the Huffington Post.
This panel along with other data sources show that it is increasingly important for ranchers to share their story and be transparent. Millennials will continue for many years to be the consumers that choose whether to buy beef or trade it out for another protein.
Herd and Scene, September, 2015, www.idahobeef.org