Here at The Kitchn, we're fascinated by grocery trends. We have Google alerts for the most obscure of topics, talk to experts about new product releases, pore over the nitty-gritty details within industry reports, and are constantly conducting feet-on-the-ground trend analysis (when we grocery shop, of course).
So when we came across this buzzy essay in Philadelphia Magazine arguing how and why millennials killed mayonnaise, we eagerly clicked to learn more.
Here's why we were slightly disappointed: Within this obviously tongue-in-cheek, comedically-argued, and painstakingly-researched piece by Sandy Hingston, there was nary a concrete numerical statistic to be found proving that millennials actually are to blame for rendering the kind-of-sad sandwich spread obsolete.
In fact, the sole statistic called upon as evidence (albeit industry-funded by the Association for Dressings and Sauces) actually contradicts the title of the piece. "According to ADS, older millennials — those ages 25 to 34 — are the most frequent purchasers of my mom's preferred condiment ahead of the next most frequent... boomers ages 55 to 65." Ultimately, Hingston's chronicles of the rise and fall of mayonnaise, lack the "fall" part. And that's her point.
Mayonnaise is easy to hate on. It's not sexy like Sriracha. It doesn't have the cult following of ranch dressing. And it's definitely not as intriguing as aioli (even though aioli is just garlicky mayonnaise). But it still makes a damn good tomato toast — one that millennials are going viral-crazy for.
You know what's even easier than hating on mayonnaise? Blaming millennials for everything. (Remember when millennial consumption of avocado toast was to blame for the housing crisis?) Stories like these get lots of people talking. They get a rise out of defensive millennials on both sides of the debates. And even if we can't land on which side of the argument is the right side, there is one thing we can all agree on: It's tough to make generalizations about an entire generation.