3 ways to serve up what millennials crave

Thanks to technology, most of us connect with family and friends daily. But time spent with these loved ones in real life is becoming more precious—particularly for Generation Y. Nearly 8 in 10 millennials say their best memories come from an experience they attended or participated in, according to Eventbrite research.

And Pinners feel the same way: Pins about “gatherings” grew 92% year over year. Food is at the heart of many of these memorable experiences for Pinners under 35. In fact, millennials fuel a significant percentage of the 22 million Pins saved each month in the Food and Drink category.

But what do these digital natives come to Pinterest craving? We looked at the searches and found it boils down to three things: flavor, ease and health. Here are 3 ways you can inspire and satisfy millennial foodies on Pinterest:

1. Serve up flavor

When it comes to mealtimes, millennials are adventurous. They crave exotic, memorable culinary experiences. In fact, 61% of millennials love to try unique flavors, according to Technomic. For millennials, it’s about elevating the everyday into something unforgettable. That’s reflected in the top 5 flavor-infused searches we see Pinners looking to infuse flavor into: water, vodka, butter, popcorn and cupcakes.

What your business can do: Share recipes heavy on bold, unexpected flavor. Help transform an ordinary meal into a memorable experience by adding a dash of ingenuity. Highlight new twists on old favorites.

2. Make it fast

From entertainment to travel to shopping, technology has made most things easy and efficient for millennials. And the food they consume needs to follow suit. We found that 51% of Pins around “simple meals” are from Pinners between the ages of 18 and 34.

Increasingly, millennials also turn to Pinterest to find easy ways to curb their hunger between those simple meals. They make up 48% of snack-loving Pinners, an audience that has grown 74% year over year. And these grazers don’t want to sacrifice nutritional value for ease: 47% of snack Pins are about healthy snacks (for example, snack bars, subscription boxes, high protein, and clean eating)

What your business can do: Share creative food hacks that will maximize taste as well as save time (think: making individual servings with muffin tin meals.) Highlight tasty but good-for-you snacks. Help millennials enjoy the moment, so they don’t stress about what to eat, like giving them ideas for road trip, birthday or late night snacks.

3. Keep it fresh

We see that the majority of fresh food Pinners (73%) are millennials. What does freshness mean to Gen Y? It’s all about the optimization of food for taste and texture. They want to learn which foods are fresh throughout the year and how to create healthy culinary feats with them at their next fete.

Gen Y thinks brands don’t disclose enough about their food products. In fact, we see GMO and organic food Pin discovery spikes with news coverage.

What your business can do: Remember it’s all about creating the best possible dining experience, so show millennials how to do that at every step of the food preparation process. Millennials are open to brands educating them on food. They also rely on discovery platforms to seek the truth around hot topics. Maximize your reach during key news moments and align your content to trending topics.  

For more insights on what Pinners are hungry for, don't miss our Pinner blog on show-stopping Oscar party recipes.

—Stephanie Kumar, currently saving ideas to​ Fashion I Short and Sweet