Not your father’s food choice

In Featured Posts by Prof2 Comments

The food business operates on tight margins, meaning that the difference between the cost of the goods and what it receives from the sale of those goods is small.  Still, if a company can sell a lot of product, they can be profitable.

As noted in this report, many of the great American food companies that sold iconic food products are now faced with sluggish sales and sagging profits.  This includes Cheerios and other breakfast cereals we grew up eating, Coca Cola, the taste that refreshes, and Kraft Mac and Cheese.  You might remember that the manufacturer of Twinkies even went bankrupt a few years ago.

Now comes news of declining sales of another iconic American food product – Campbell’s Soup.  According to this report, even their organic line has been hurting.

Business experts have suggested that Millennials simply do not share the same brand loyalty as their parents and grandparents, at least for food.  iPhones are another story.

Nonetheless, this may explain why small food brands, especially those for natural, organic or healthy products are so popular among Millennials.  We will discuss how U.S. food companies are addressing this challenge.

By the way, the “not your fathers …” meme came from a  car advertisement from the late 1980’s.  General Motors was trying to revive sales of its Oldsmobile brand that younger consumers associated with their father’s not very cool car.  Did it work?  Do you see many  Oldsmobiles on the road?



  1. I remember Hostess going bankrupt. I recall people selling Twinkies on Ebay for thousands of dollars when it happened. Luckily, the Twinkies brand got sold so they are still around. It’s interesting that food brands mean so little to millenials. I was actually talking to my dad this weekend about how the people my little sister’s age (around 14) care only about brands. For example, she HAD to have Beats headphones for her birthday even though my dad found a similar pair for much less money. To her age group, it’s the brand that matters. It will be interesting to see if this trend carries over to food or not.

  2. I don’t think I’ve seen many Oldsmobiles around, but I guess it’s partly due to the fact I haven’t been looking for them / not caring to see them. I would agree that there is a decline in branded products from millennials. I have noticed that many millennials are going with more crafted / homemade / trendy products when they go out, what they wear, what they eat, etc. I think that this trend is going to continue with the fact that newer generations would outgrow old ones and would like to be trendier than the previous. Thus, change will always need to occur at a faster and faster rate.

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