Who are Millennials?
  • Millennials (born between 1980-1995: 24-39 years of age today) are the generation reaching adulthood in the early 21st century.
  • Raised in the midst of the technology revolution and see computers, tablets and the web as central to our work and life.
  • There are around 13.8 million people who are millennials in the United Kingdom alone, according to consulting firm KPMG.

Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak started, like so many people around the world, I've been working from home with my laptop, a good internet connection, and a pantry full of convenient, healthy and sustainably sourced snacks.

It's actually not that big of an adjustment. While older generations are bemoaning the new reality of video conferencing, online shopping and how to communicate effectively with their employees, millennials are in our element, and just as efficient as we were seated at our desks.

Our social life goes on relatively uninterrupted as well: we have SnapChat to share our meal preps, FaceTime to co-watch Netflix or Instagram to go to virtual raves.

Now, the trends that my generation has embraced our whole lives are going global. In the past month, we've seen boomers forced to embrace millennial-accelerated trends, including online shopping, one-touch delivery services, food provenance and local production, as if they were discovering them for the first time.

Millennials have taken note, and the viral social media hashtag #BoomerRemover is a humorous reaction to the panicked adjustment to our new reality. While it might be a tasteless joke, the coronavirus indeed may spell the end of the past generations' ways of eating, shopping and living.

Already, millennials represented around 30 percent of retail sales, worth about $600 billion (€547 billion) in the United States alone, making us a financial powerhouse, according to a recent research led by global consulting firm Accenture.

And as the coronavirus continues to bring the world to a crawl, those habits that are driving that growth will not be outliers -- they will become mainstream.

So here's a look at what you can expect from your consumers as this epidemic drags on.

Convenience and speed

Convenience is how millennials think when it comes to food. We want foods that are quick and easy to prepare -- that's step one.

But despite that desire for ease of preparation, we also want to steer away from all the breaded and battered options that have become a staple in frozen seafood.

Give us fresh, interesting flavors: eating is an experience for us, and one we want to share with our social circles.

Online everything

Millennials prefer buying almost everything online, and increasingly that has included groceries and restaurant food.

This in itself has led to the formation of many startup delivery services in recent years such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Postmates and Door Dash.

Many of those services have also started contact-free delivery in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. All you'd have to do is order your food and wait for it to get to your doorstep.

Amazon already announced it would be hiring an additional 100,000 people to cope with the huge uptick in orders as the boomers get used to online shopping with governmental restrictions on going out, and more traditional restaurants typically catering to older generations are embracing delivery as well.

Food provenance

Millennials are already big into unprocessed food, particularly if it is quick, healthy, fresh and organic.

We want to drill down on where the food we eat was grown, caught, raised and transported because sustainability, transparency and climate change are three things very dear to us.

The more the brands we purchase are transparent on how they are treating the environment, the more loyal we'd become.

Millennials are generally already tweeting a lot about how the coronavirus has been giving the climate a breather, as many production facilities decrease capacity and people commute less.

The concept of provenance is now working its way much more into non-millennial consumers' minds as skepticism toward imports and a desire to support local businesses hit by the coronavirus take hold.

Remote and flex-time work

This global, experimental work-from-home period may have companies rethinking the merits of centralized operations and the relentless focus on idea that bringing all employees into the same office is a means to efficiency.

If the trend sticks, seafood companies might be persuaded to restructure and rethink how they conceive of working remotely.

Video-conferencing alone is not the solution, but options such as staggered shifts, artificial intelligence and automation may change the seafood processing space.

That is good news for millennials like myself, who are looking for any opportunity to work on the go and save money on commuting costs. This generation was having trouble getting its footing before the coronavirus hit.

When exactly the coronavirus is going to blow over, no one knows.

However, from monitoring all the changes we've seen so far and how companies are improvising, one can be sure that this global pandemic will leave a legacy behind.

Today, people are increasingly aware of the cost associated with going and eating out, companies are rethinking strategy and management, and the food industry is experiencing a makeover as labor costs and reliability continuously become a driving force.

Millennials can't solve the problem, but they can show companies where business is headed.

Send your comments to demi.korban@intrafish.com.