Industry News | November 22, 2013

Subway, MTV Survey Millennials on Healthy Eating

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Subway Restaurants and MTV released the results of a joint survey uncovering new insights into Millennial generation health perceptions.  According to the survey, trends show that the overwhelming share of young people view their eating habits as needing room for improvement, with 80 percent admitting that while they sometimes eat healthy foods, they don’t go out of their way to avoid the bad ones.  Additionally, one third of respondents say they have either pressured others or have been pressured by peers for not eating healthy. The study goes on to detail findings related to health versus hunger, generation gaps, and food shaming, among others.

Known for its healthy mealtime options on-the-go, Subway surveyed about 500 Millennials in the U.S. from MTV’s proprietary online panel on their eating habits.

The survey found that nine out of 10 respondents think “it’s important to be conscious of what they put in their body.” Eight out of 10 respondents describe their eating habits as “having room for improvement,” and they “sometimes eat healthy foods, but don't avoid the bad ones” Nearly half of respondents, 45 percent, favor the “I eat whenever I’m hungry” approach to eating while others count calories (7 percent) or utilize portion control (7 percent) when it comes to regulating food intake. Half of all respondents say that taste is the most critical factor when choosing a fast food restaurant, with value, cleanliness, variety, and nutritional transparency rounding out the top five respectively.

One third of respondents say they have either been pressured by peers or have pressured others for not eating healthy. About 40 percent of people surveyed felt guilty after eating unhealthy food when dining out, while others (11 percent) eat healthy “so friends won’t criticize me.” One third of Millennials noted that healthy eating has become a trend amongst friend circles. About 52 percent of Millennials polled cite their reasoning for eating healthy is “to look good.”

Nearly two thirds of respondents agreed their personal views on healthy eating differed in comparison to their parents. Millennials consider dinner to be the most important meal of the day, according to the survey. Six out of 10 polled cited that life is so busy that they don’t follow a regular meal schedule.

The survey was fielded by MTV Insights in the U.S. via the Pulse, a proprietary MTV panel of nearly 3,000 Millennials ages 14 to 34 on behalf of the Subway brand from October 15 to November 1, 2013. MTV Insights is part of the research division of MTV.

Expanding on its already diverse variety of sandwiches and salads, Subway recently introduced the Fiery Footlong Collection in conjunction with a partnership with Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” film franchise to broaden brand appeal to the Millennial demographic. For a limited-time, the brand invites consumers to enjoy its Creamy Sriracha Sauce, made with a blend of spicy chiles, garlic, and heat.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.