Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Second Age of Aquarius?

Is it the end of the 'Neocaloric era'?  This is the leading question in the article I mentioned in my latest post from The Economist.  Not only is the issue of sustainability facing future economic misfortunes, but there is also a demand from a new age of consumers, damaging the 'neocaloric era'.

Perhaps Mcdonald's, Coca Cola, and other calorie dense food products were appealing to the baby boom (also known as Generation X), but a new generation (Generation Y) is emerging leading consumer demand into a possibly new direction.  The ripple effect has been labeled The Millennials, and has marketers all over the country re-evaluating their target audience.  Millennials have birth dates ranging from the late 1970's to the early 2000's.  Millennials are the first generation to grow-up most connected to internet and technology, are turned off by fast-food, and are attracted to healthier alternatives.  They are also known as the new progressive America that "places high value on social responsibility, sustainability, and local, organic, grass-fed and hormone-free dishes." according to an article written by the Public Relations Society of America.  

A serious issue facing the successful companies of Generation X, are how to keep up with this new generation.  Let's just say, it has not been easy, and has sometimes been hard to watch:

Here is a new commercial by McDonald's trying its best to appeal to Millennial's with its new healthy alternative the 'McWrap':

Not bad, though it's hard to think healthy any time I see the golden arches.  

Now compare that to the Chipotle Mexican Grill commercial:

Chipotle nailed it in terms of reaching the progressive Millennials.  One could even say "Back to the Start" is a reference encouraging this new progressive generation.

No matter what McDonald's does, they will always have a controversial reputation.  Not only that, but healthier, more sustainable fast food restaurants are gaining loyalty among Millennials, pushing others further and further away  from the top.  

What meal would you choose?

WP 4/19

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