The tuna industry has been stirring up the media sphere this past week claiming that the reason why sales of canned tuna are so low is due to everyone’s favorite scapegoat, millennials.
Andy Mecs, VP of marketing and innovation for Starkist Tuna told the Wall Street Journal, “A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers.”
The trending topic even made it onto a Jimmy Kimmel parody segment where the show displayed millennials' inability to use a can opener.
This reasoning sounded a little fishy to us…
So below, we’ve listed some of the REAL reasons why millennials are less likely to buy canned tuna.
1. Clean Eating
As we continue to discover new and innovative food makers, big name brands are seeing more and more competition in the marketplace. These makers are addressing millennials' concerns for fresher options and cleaner labels. A quick look at a can of tuna's ingredient list gives you higher levels of sodium and inclusion of preservatives.
2. Ethics and Sustainability
Millennials, aka Generation Nice puts an increased importance on transparency. The effects of bycatch and overfishing by the big tuna industry is continuously affecting the ocean's ecosystem. Industrial tuna fishing kills hundreds and thousands of sharks and sea turtles every year.
According to Acosta, a leading sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry, 81% of millennials reported that protein content is "extremely influential when making grocery store purchases" but that's not to say millennials are buying meat to get those gains, plant-based meat alternatives are growing 11 percent in units year after year.
Canned tuna is the most common source of mercury in Americans' diets. It's no secret that mercury, which occurs due to air pollution, is a concern for many beyond the millennial generation. According to Consumer Reports, mercury consumption can affect neurologic, cardiovascular, and immune systems.