Why today's generation isn't eating it as much beef

80 million people born between 1980, 2000 have different attitudes towards beef

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 80 million members of the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) are not the beef consumers of the past. They  account for about a fourth of the U.S. population and about a third of all adults.

The Beef Checkoff surveyed millennial attitudes and aptitudes when it comes to cooking and eating beef and their results are as follows.

Millennials in general know very little about shopping for and cooking beef – which is a primary deterrent to purchasing it.

They acknowledge beef benefits, like building muscle and helping maintain energy but lack nutritional facts to understand how beef, especially in terms of an appropriate number of servings, fits in a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Millennials see food as an adventure, a route to diverse cultural and social experiences. They want beef to be part of these experiences.

Fifty-four percent say it's hard to know what cuts to choose in the meat case.

Among those surveyed, 56 percent reported disappointment in the results of a beef meal they've prepared, compared to only 31 percent of baby boomers. Millennials reported problems preparing steaks, and even burgers.

On a positive note, these younger adults are knowledge seekers. Some 75 percent want information about steaks and how to prepare and cook them and 55 percent want information on preparing and serving beef to their children.

Millennials tend to buy the same cuts rather than diversify their choices. However, 50 percent said they would buy more beef if they knew more about the different cuts.

According to the Beef Board, the 2011 study also showed that Millennial parents are limiting their children's consumption of beef— a critical finding since Millennials are not only the key beef consumers of the future, they are the influencers of the following generation.

Chicken is perceived to be easier to prepare, a big favorite with children and widely available as strips and nuggets, so parents know there is always a kid-friendly option, whether eating at home or away from home.

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