Paleo vs Povvo: The Deciding Factors That Dictate Millennial Food Choices

Think money is the only deciding factor in Gen Y’s food choices?

We’re a fickle bunch, us Millennials. One minute we’re affectionately devoting our lives to the Paleo diet and Pete Evans’ piercingly blue laser eyes, and the next second we’re all about finding the best double-beef stuffed bacon burgers in town. While many of us are keen on getting our lives together and settling in for a whirlwind ride on the #fitspiration train, a couple of defining factors almost always seem to get in our way.

Unsurprisingly, money plays a huge part in the food choices we make. Sure, you’re keen on getting #clean, but when sirloin steak costs an arm and a leg and avocado prices are through the roof, things get a little tough. But interestingly, it’s not just money that’s dictating our food choices – a new study shows trends and taste play a big part too.

New data from online takeaway ordering platform EatNow.com.au has found that an increasing amount of Millennials are choosing food based on taste; effectively saying #yolo to tastier food – regardless of price.

In a survey of 1922 Australian adults under the age of 25, EatNow found that almost half of participants chose food based on taste, and 35% of participants decide based on price.


Image: 8Bit/Facebook

So what are we skimping on?

Almost 40% of the 18 to 24 year olds surveyed said that they have difficulty affording luxe items like meat and seafood, inadvertently going vego simply because it’s cheaper. Another 53% said they struggle to afford whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and beans on a regular basis.

And those fad diets?

Funnily enough, a great majority of participants said they wouldn’t try the Paleo diet, but at least 53% might consider ditching highly processed carbs if it purported to improve their health.

Besides trends, are we motivated by anything else?

Surprisingly, 69% of Millennials said they wouldn’t judge their friends on what they ate, although 45% said that their housemates were most influential when it came to their own food decisions. It makes sense too; if you’ve got a vegan roommate who can’t stand meat anywhere near their tempeh stir fry, you’re more than likely to skip the red meat just to make them happy (or you know, move out).

What about takeaway?

The data revealed that 39% of respondents were motivated to buy pre-made meals because of convenience. Plus craving a particular meal you can’t cook yourself was also a deciding factor when ordering in (25% of respondents) as well as treating yo’self (17%) and saving time (16%). Saying that, almost half of the participants said they wouldn’t pay more than $20 for a takeaway meal – a reality that’s a little hard won in our exxy capital cities.

When it comes down to it, money, time and effort play a huge part in what we’re putting in our bellies. And in case you were wondering, here’s a bunch of great tips for eating well when you’re crazy busy all the time.

Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.