Millennials and Nutrition

There is an undeniable allure about BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos that have taken over Facebook in recent months. The flash of color from various ingredients, the mouthwatering sizzle of meats and the perfect organization of spice bowls on a minimalistic background makes it hard to tear your eyes away. Based on these three aspects alone, it makes a whole lot of sense that these videos have become wildly popular on Facebook these days.

However, I found myself confused by their sudden popularity – regardless of how aesthetically pleasing these videos were to the eye. I am surrounded by friends and family who pride themselves on eating a consistently clean, incredibly green diet; the kind of people who would have a full body reaction at the mere mention of eating something that was not plucked from the earth. Yet I found the same people fawning over how delicious and great the Tasty videos were, despite the seemingly endless piles of cheese present in several recipes.

Interestingly enough, watching any Tasty video provides immense insight into Millennial (or Gen Y – take your pick) eating trends and nutritional habits. As a Millennial myself, the Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese video was the first Tasty video that caught my attention.



The combination of all of my favorite things – food, organization and upbeat music – made it difficult to break my attention. I do not particularly enjoy either spinach artichoke dip or mac and cheese, yet I found myself wanting to prepare this dish for myself.

It turns out that Tasty’s enticement factor goes far beyond than its video design.

In a 2015 BuzzBack study, it was noted that the process of eating food was not seen as a means of survival amongst Millennials, but rather as an experience to be had. When prompted to think about “food” and “nutrition,” Millennials first thought about the “food experience,” which is the external projection of self via what they consume upon their peers, then “taste,” and finally “quality.” The actual components – protein, fat content, sugar, calories, etc. – of food, however, were revealed to be secondary thoughts amongst this demographic. This indicates that nutritional eating, while important, is not a primary concern to Millennials.

As noted by the same 2015 BuzzBack study (and perhaps by the behavior of my friends and family as well), Millennials do prize nutrition, but with the occasional indulgence.


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So, what does this have to do with those mouthwatering Tasty videos?

In short, Tasty provides Millennial viewers with the ultimate food experience. With a simple “like” or share of a Tasty video on the Millennial’s social media account, they can indicate to their social sphere the kinds of food they like and what they can prepare. The close-up shots of the Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese slowly baking caters to the Millennial need of taste and quality. However, what is absent, but certainly not to the Millennial chagrin, is the nutritional value of each ingredient. It is yet another step for the Millennial viewer to learn about the nutritional value of their meal, which highlights that nutrition has taken the backseat amongst this demographic. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however.

As our 2015 study mentions, a company that is able to seamlessly blend nutrition and indulgence will be in a grand position for success amongst Millennials in the future. Given that Tasty is constantly updating its channel with new recipes and receiving millions of views, likes and shares across several social media platforms, it is safe to say that Tasty has successfully summarized what it means to eat as a Millennial in 2016.

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