Millennials are Getting Over McDonald’s
By Brad Jordan
Young people are waking up to real food; junk food companies are scrambling to get us back
Bah dah, dah, dah, dah, dah… I’m not loving it, and trends show neither do other 18 to 36-year-old adults. According to market research, McDonald’s doesn’t even make their top 10 list of favorite fast food chains. As with most fast food chains, McDonald’s is vying to keep this important age group – called millennials – coming back for more. With around 80 million young adults fitting into this category, millennials form the largest age group.
The buck stops with us, leaving corporate stooges scrambling to get our attention and trying their damnedest to figure out how to make us loyal slaves to our fast food masters.
Young people don’t buy into marketing gimmicks like they did in the past. There’s no allegiance to Budweiser beer or Domino’s pizza anymore. There’s no reason to spend our weekends downing this cheap junk, while zombieing out to football and lame commercials. This is the age of the Internet. We’re finding new information and new ways to spend our time.
Not all millennials have awoken from their indoctrination, but enough of us have to lead the trend away from McDonald’s.
Research shows that hamburger chains have seen a 16% decline in traffic from our age group since 2007. Millennials made 3.6 billion visits to hamburger chains in 2012, compared to 4.2 billion visits in 2007.
There also has been a 12% decline in quick-service restaurant visits overall.
Why? Well, I’m guessing it’s because some of us want to live. We’ve seen the havoc fast food wreaked on our parents’ generation and we don’t want to die young, or grow old on pharmaceuticals. We’ve rediscovered the joy of eating, whole, nutrient-dense, real foods. These foods make us think clearer, prevent sickness, and just taste better. We cook our own chow, listen to music, and converse with friends.
Life is good once you’ve been deprogrammed, woken up, and freed from food traps, government traps, societal traps, mental traps, guilt traps, advertising traps or any other trap that forces you to live an unfulfilling and unhealthy life.
We’re out of control
Well, what are marketers going to do with 80 million free-thinking, wild sons of liberty on the loose? Hit us hard with campaign ads, and make them more personal, that’s what.
Coke has been aggressive in targeting youth, especially in recent years. It has focused on music as a conduit to the cohort and has been cultivating communities across social-media platforms. Gatorade keeps tabs on social conversation through its “Mission Control” monitoring center; it also connects with athletes one-on-one through camps, as well as locker-room and sidelines programs.
Well, they can do all the little studies they want, and try to “connect” with us on a personal level, but there’s one thing they’ve missed about what we really want – choices. Real choices, not just McDonald’s or Burger King.
That’s why millennials prefer Chipotle to stale fries and smooshy burgers. While far from perfect, Chipotle has succeeded in giving consumers a fast food option that is leagues above other fast-food chains. They use organic and local produce when it’s available and use hormone and antibiotic-free meat and dairy. While they’re ready-to-serve, the ingredients they use are fresh and/or slow-cooked.
The means of reaching millennials might be higher-quality products and lots of choice. The group has caused fits for big beer marketers in recent years as it changes drinking habits in search of variety rather than remaining loyal to certain brands or styles as previous generations had.
There’s a slow, but steady revolution going on. We youngsters and other foodies have tasted the good stuff and will no longer stand for globs of GM vile, thrown in a brown, greasy bag and then shoved out of a window to our outstretched, begging arms. Even Ronald demands something better.
And it’s a wrap
So, how is McDonald’s going to try and reel us back in? The McWrap, that’s how.
“Referred to in the memo as a “Subway buster,” the McWrap “affords us the platform for customization and variety that our millennial customer is expecting of us.” The McWrap comes grilled or crispy in three varieties—sweet chili chicken, chicken and bacon, and chicken and ranch—and will range from 360 to 600 calories, depending in part on the type of chicken.”
If they think their CAFO-raised chickens – whether they’re fried or baked – slathered in some GM sauce, wrapped in chemically hybridized, industrially processed, “whole” wheat tortillas will bring us back, they better think again.
“I’ll break you”
The word is getting out and the message is catching fire – freedom baby, freedom – especially when it comes to food. Consumers want healthier products. There’s a reason organic food sales continue to grow as McDonalds’ shrink. People want fresh, local, foods, prepared in a more traditional way – without dangerous additives and preservatives.
Every now and again, you have to be honest with yourself. You have to get the fires of liberty burning in your belly. You have to get a little ticked off about the current state of our homeland.
I look at the food-pharmaceutical complex like Rocky Balboa looked at Ivan Drago, the Russian, in Rocky IV. It may seem overwhelmingto take on – too big, too powerful – especially when government is in its back pocket. It may seem like they’re trying to break us, just like the Russian tried to break Rocky.
But you keep pounding them, and pounding them, just like Mickey taught us. And finally, in the last round – when everyone in America has awoken and risen from their slumber, started drinking raw milk, eating pasture-raised meats and fresh and local produce – millions and I mean millions of Americans will give one final deadly blow to the head of the food beast. As it lies there on the canvas, America will finally scream out, “Today, I’m gonna eat free or die! Wooo!”
I am Food Riot Radio. Come join me on my quest for food freedom.
Brad “The Butcher” Jordan is a food freedom maniac. He’s a self-taught cook who enjoys having a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. When local, state, and federal governments try to limit your food choices, Brad will be there, thrashing through their lies and propaganda. The road to food freedom starts in his home state of North Carolina and continues around the world.