Following Foster Farms' participation in the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship and the company's introduction of two new lines of poultry raised without antibiotics, the West Coast poultry leader today released survey findings measuring Millennial's attitudes towards food issues, grocery purchasing behavior and preferences. The 2015 data reveals that Millennial parents are driving the tidal shift in consumer demand for responsibly raised products and are largely influenced by traditional family values and peer/community feedback when making household food decisions. While availability and pricing are cited as potential challenges, nearly one-third of respondents consider "organic" or "no antibiotics" to be the most important factor in choosing fresh chicken.

Conducted in 2015, the survey of 1,872 West Coast Millennial parents found that once Millennials have children, traditional family values and peer/community influence are the primary factors influencing everything from grocery purchases to cooking and consumption habits – with 74 percent reporting their criteria has changed a lot due to these factors. Millennials report their purchasing standards for fresh chicken differ significantly from their parents or previous generations. Yet, while demand for these products is at an all-time high,1 West Coast consumers report confusion on labeling terms and perceive these products to be niche in category.

Highlights from the independent survey conducted by MetrixLab include:

  • 85 percent of Millennial parents indicated that their criteria for buying meat and poultry has changed over the last several years; 42 percent cited having a child as the primary reason, while 32 percent credit becoming more educated on how food is produced
  • 79 percent of Millennial parents surveyed agreed that they are much more concerned than their parents' generation about chemicals, antibiotics and ingredients used to produce food, while 78 percent say they are more concerned than their parents' generation about nutrition
  • Use of antibiotics in meat and poultry production (54 percent), hormones and steroids in meats, poultry or dairy products (60 percent) and food safety (68 percent) are the top three food issues that survey participants were very concerned about
  • 83 percent cook dinner at home four or more nights per week and nearly half of respondents cited family members as having the greatest influence on cooking habits
  • 54 percent said that when making decisions about the food they feed their families they rely on information from friends and family to help inform those decisions (versus expert chefs, cookbooks, blogs, and other influencers in the food category)
  • Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed noted that buying humanely raised meat and poultry is more important to them now than it was in the past
  • Local matters: 81 percent of those surveyed agreed that they try to buy poultry that is raised in their state