The ingredient company Fona has a new report out about millennial consumers, and while I know this is an especially millennial thing to say, it’s kind of triggering. 

Seeing both the mundane and the traumatic events of my own life broken down into statistics and trend predictions is a little hard to process. 

The report, which is titled “Millennials: 2021 Consumers Insights,” included one particularly difficult quote.. 

“The pandemic crisis is occurring a decade after Millennials were hit by the Great Recession when many were either graduating from college and trying to find work, had found work but lost their job, or kept their job but were unlikely to get raises or negotiate for better pay. COVID-19 has had a similar impact, derailing many Millennials’ careers and personal ambitions due to closures,” it reads. 

Wow Fona. Way to just lay it all out there. 

After enduring the greatest economic recession in living memory, we DID get hit with the most deadly pandemic in living memory. It WAS hard to find work. And it DID derail our careers and personal ambitions.

And yes, Baby Boomers and Gen X endured those things as well, but they had the luxury of time. They got decades to build a high-end lemonade machine before being hit with an onslaught of lemons. Meanwhile millennials got hit with a truck full of lemons before they even had time to buy a hand-held juicer. 

The Fona report says millennials are those born between 1980-1994, making them currently 25-40 years old.

In other words, we’ve reached or are approaching middle age. (Which again, is kind of triggering to think about Fona). And just as we do, the news is flooded with stories about a pandemic, a climate crisis, and political upheaval. 

There are approximately 72 million millennials in the U.S., according to Fona. And apparently, we’re all going through the same hard time. 

By all accounts I’m one of the “lucky ones.” I managed to successfully navigate the job market during the Great Recession. I had the ability to start working from home way back in 2012 — years before most of my peers. And, while I don’t want to jinx it, thus far I have avoided getting COVID-19 myself. 

But it all still affects me. And apparently it also all affects my shopping habits. Some of the statistics listed in the Fona report that apply to me include:

► 32 percent of Millennials say they are willing to pay more if a product is made ethically.

► 33 percent of Millennials say they are willing to pay more if a product is sustainable.

► 67 percent of Millennials expect to shop online more after the pandemic than they did before.

► While Millennials’ shopping behavior indicates that they spend more of their money online and on higher quality items, convenience meals and sweet and cheesy snacks are still significant purchases for them. In fact, convenience is the number one reason (72 percent) why fast food is attractive to the surveyed Millennials, above other factors such as taste or nutritional value according to a Segmanta report.

Really Fona? You had to mention my sweet and cheesy snacks? Can you just let me LIVE?

The Fona report concludes with some takeaways:

“Millennials hold the buying power to dictate food and beverage trends across the market. These are busy and adventurous consumers who are searching for convenient, ethical and innovative products that taste great – providing a clear opportunity for success for today’s food and beverage developers. Convenient at-home meals to sustainable snacks, indulgent treats and more, there’s plenty of opportunity in this space, and we can help simplify the challenge. Let’s figure out your “what’s next?”

And while I know that last sentence is meant to apply to food manufacturers interested in new product development, I feel no shame in saying, I’d be just as interested in the answer to that question. What is next? 

If anyone figures it out, let me know. Because I have a feeling there’s still plenty of lemons coming at us.