One is much more Instagrammable than the other
According to a new survey released by the marketing firm Havas Worldwide, a surprising number of millennials choose food over sex when asked to pick between the two. The poll began by asking if food could be as pleasurable as sex, to which 54 percent of the total millennial-aged respondents said yes. The researchers then asked men and women if they would rather have sex or delicious meal at a restaurant. Twenty-six percent of men opted for the food. Forty-six percent of the women, however, opted for the meal. Guys: take heed. We could be replaced by an entree at Le Coucou if we don't step up our game.
Millennials are obviously food obsessed (as well as "depressed," "lazy," "the worst," and "so stupid"—thanks, Google autocomplete!). Their past times include Instagramming meals, taking in food-centric television (or, well, Netflix), get hyped to go grocery shopping, and even read breakfast websites for fun (and we thank you for that). Fifty-three percent of 18 to 34-year-olds polled by Havas said that eating at restaurants is their favorite social activity. More than half said that grocery shopping is their favorite weekday chore. Perhaps they're just relieved that the Baby Boomers didn't take that joy away from them, like they did to home ownership or employment.
But lost among the noise about the not-so sexy sex habits of millennials are some other pretty interesting insights: younger consumers are more health-conscious than ever, and are much more in tune with where their food comes from. The consequences of Western diets have manifested themselves through widespread obesity and heart disease, and consumers are more interested than ever about how the agricultural industry helps determine what they eat. These findings complement similar research by Nielsen about millennial beer drinking habits, which suggested that young imbibers are more health-conscious about alcohol consumption than any of their predecessors. Maybe that's why millennials are having less sex and eating out more—more inhibitions and an aversion to wasted liquid calories.
Lastly, maybe this trend comes down to the rise of #foodporn. Smartphones made cameras ubiquitous; social media made them useful. There's a certain validation that comes from posting food photos—whether it be healthy, luxurious, expensive, or statement-making. The desire to document one's daily life has created a contest among friends to post the most attractive-looking plate. This, in turn, has elevated food's status in society, making an Insta-worthy breakfast a status symbol that's at least on par with being sexually prolific. That, or people are just a lot less inclined to photograph themselves getting down and dirty, so food becomes the easier option. Or maybe we're all just eating our feelings and want to put a positive spin on things.