Millennials are Demanding More

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Australia’s Millennial generation is fast gaining a reputation as a cohort that is demanding more from society, government and itself, and companies like Bakers Maison, a leading bakery supplier, is sitting up and taking notice.

There are some conjecture about the exact years the Millennial generation spans, but most agree it includes people born from the early 1980s to early 2000s, who are currently aged from 18 to late 30s. This cohort of the Australian population is expected to grow over the next 10 years by 17 per cent, from 7.2 million people in 2016 to 8.3 million people in 2026, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Bakers Maison Managing Director, Pascal Chanelière, says that this is a generation that is bringing change to the way Australians eat and interact and therefore Bakers Maison and others in the food industry need to be paying attention.

“Research has shown that Millennials are motivated by causes in both their work and in their personal lives,” said Chanelière. “If a product or service concerns them in some way, they will take to social media to express their displeasure. They also value experiences and want to be challenged and are open to new experiences.“

According to a new report released by global research company the NPD Group, Millennials are now the largest ‘healthy-eating’ consumer group in Australia, with an unprecedented 32 per cent claiming to be focused on healthy food.

The report suggests that requirements for health-motivated meals, ‘clean’ eating and transparency around ingredients have dramatically increased and online ordering of healthy food using mobile-phone apps is also now at an all-time high. The latter is said to be one of the defining factors behind the rise in healthy-eating statistics.

“Of course, Millennials are not our only customers, but they are a group we really need to focus on for the future of our business,” added Chanelière. “We sell our bakery products to the foodservice industry, including cafes and restaurants. At the moment, the average age of chefs in Australia is 34, which is the upper age of millennials. So in the next 10 to 15 years, many chefs will be part of the generation leading the change to more environmental awareness.

“In our research, we’ve learnt that unlike generations before them, Millennials take social, ethical, political, and environmental issues seriously. They will, therefore, seek out brands that match their values,” he said.

According to Canadian Dietician Cara Rosenbloom, there are a few key changes being driven largely by the Millennial generation. Rosenbloom says they want the truth from food manufacturers and big food producers are starting to listen to consumer demands for transparency about ingredients and source. They are redefining “healthy” as food that’s natural, organic, locally sourced or sustainable, rather than low-fat or high-fibre, as previous generations might.

Rosenbloom also says that Millennials value the planet more than older generations. As such, they are more interested in how the food was sourced and grown, and how that affects their carbon footprint. Sustainability is a priority for them when buying food at supermarkets or restaurants. 

Millennials’ awareness of environmental issues has influenced food manufacturers to institute better earth-friendly practices.

Prior to identifying this Millennial generation as a changing force, Bakers Maison was already undertaking a range of sustainability initiatives – believing that it was important for their business.

Bakers Maison is part of a growing trend in frozen food products, with its range of frozen breads, pastries, and sweets available as fully baked, par-baked, ready to bake and ready to prove.

Frozen products provide a number of environmental benefits for the foodservice industry, including addressing the major issue of food wastage. Frozen items can be used as required, with the excess stock retained in the freezer, which significantly reduces the need for disposal which has an environmental impact.

Bakers Maison has installed 1,900 square metres of solar panels on the roof of its facility in Sydney’s south-west. It is specifically tailored to the food industry because it targets the energy-intensive process of cooling hot baked goods, an integral part of making its operations as efficient as possible. These solar panels produce 15% of Bakers Maison energy needs.

“By showing that a large-scale food manufacturing operation such as ours can be reliably powered by renewable energy, we hope others in our industry and in other energy-intensive industries follow the lead we have set,” Chanelière said.  

As well as the solar panels, the company converted 12 electric ovens to gas, replaced factory lighting with LED lights, and converted refrigerant gas from R22 to ammonia gas.

Bakers Maison is a specialist manufacturer of frozen French-style breads, pastries, and sweets available as fully baked, par-baked, ready to bake and ready to prove. The company uses traditional French recipes using natural, mostly Australian ingredients and contain no added sugar or preservatives.

For more information about our breads and pastries, contact us via our social pages or email us at info@bakersmaison.com.au

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