A rise in vegetarianism and flexitarianism ("Meatless Trend Seen Increasing") is one of our predictions for 2013, courtesy of Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, a firm that tracks and predicts U.S. food trends.
But when it comes to going vegetarian, there is often a generational divide on commitment to the cause, Badaracco told SN in a recent interview.
“Gen Y kind of does it because it’s a cool thing to do, but they don’t have the dedication,” said Badaracco.
Don’t be too hard on those flaky Millennials, however. Badaracco added that many Boomers and Gen Xers had also experimented with vegetarianism as they left home for the first time, only to revert to an omnivorous lifestyle later on in life. “I can’t tell you how many friends I have that were vegetarians during college, but they’re sure as heck not now.”
On the other hand, the latest generation may be more faithful to the meat-free diet over time.
“The ones who are more likely to be long-term vegetarian or flexitarian is Gen Z, which are the little 16-/17-year-olds and younger. And the reason is, is because that is the first generation to be born into sustainability,” said Badaracco, meaning practices that affect the environment have been a part of national public awareness throughout their lives.
It will be interesting to see what happens when Gen Zers get a little older and start being responsible for their own purchasing decisions.