Health Conscious Millennials Prefer Lean Proteins Over Red Meat

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

The latest trend in the healthy lifestyle movement is the incorporation of lean meats into the diet. Millennials are extremely invested in eating healthier and living a more active lifestyle. More than other generations, millennials are transitioning from a fear of calories and carbs to a more balanced diet that includes calories, carbs and fats (heaven forbid!).

Crash diets like Atkins, low fat, and sugar free are loosing popularity quickly and more protein driven diets like the Paleo diet are gaining interest among millennials because it is less about restriction and more about a well balanced protein powered meal.

In order to better understand how millennials and consumers in general are approaching this new diet plan, FutureCast® and the National Turkey Federation took a deep dive into understanding who the consumers of lean proteins are.

In the Who Eats the Meats report, we found six segments of lean protein consumers: Modern Millennials, Established Affluents, Simple Minimalists, Stubborn Old-Schoolers, Flavor Seekers and Time-Pressured Moms. Each segment consumes lean protein differently but the overwhelming evidence points to a shift in the mindset of the general public away from red meats and towards leaner proteins like turkey and chicken.


The report also found that more than 31 million households purchased a lean protein at least once a week because they are low in fat and play an important role in strengthening the body’s immune system.

Download a full copy of the report here!

Beef vs. lean protein consumption

Beef, the highest consumed red meat, is experiencing a significant decline in consumption rates. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, he nation’s total beef consumption is down from 27.3 billion pounds in 2008, to 25.5 billion pounds in 2013. Clearly, Americans are looking for healthier protein alternatives, and poultry options fit the bill.

Millennial consumers and Gen Xers are very likely to buy poultry for health-related reasons, according to a recent Mintel report, which found that two in five 18-to-24 year old shoppers bought poultry to increase their protein intake. The same was true for 35 percent of people between the ages of 25 and 34 and 36 percent of 35-to-44-year-old consumers.

While younger Americans are more likely to buy poultry for health reasons, Americans of all ages are trading in some of their of beef consumption for lean proteins for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re in for the health benefits, the flavor opportunities or just because of the fad (we know you’re out there…and we’re not judging) lean protein is making a meaty comeback. We will not be surprised when we find more restaurants offering learner proteins on their menus as opposed to the expected red meat options.

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.