In Ernest Cline’s hit sci-fi novel, “Ready Player One,” three words are repeatedly spoken by characters fighting against a world consumed by virtual reality: “Reality is real.” To them, no matter how much the computerized environment is pushed on them, it will never live up to the genuine satisfaction the real world could give. When it comes to real versus “impossible” meats, Gen Z and Millennials feel exactly the same way.
It hasn’t been long since the impossible burger—a mixture of plant-based ingredients that “bleeds” like real meat—entered the food industry. Since then it has been touted by various media outlets as being the environmentally friendlier meat alternative, one so incredibly (or impossibly) close to tasting like the real thing, one can barely tell the difference. But no matter how much appeal impossible meats seem to have where profits are concerned, Gen Z and Millennials just aren’t buying it.
A majority 65.8 percent of Tylt voters expressed they didn’t believe impossible meat is as healthy as some may think. This negates the idea that impossible meat is a popular substitute by meat-lovers looking to cut down on too much of the red stuff, as it appears that younger generations find this meat alternative unappealing when compared to the option of the real thing despite all of its supposed benefits.
This lack of appeal is even more pronounced when asked if they’d be willing to eat impossible fish. Over 75.5 percent stated they would much rather stick with consuming fish that came from the sea as opposed to genetically modified beans.
However, when asked on which chain served up their favorite burgers—Five Guys or Shake Shack—Tylt audiences flocked to cast their vote in droves. Over 4,816 gave their support for either patty, with 4,269 as first-timers to the site. Five Guys took home the gold, racking up a total of 60.2 percent of the final tally. This fervor behind voting for the best burger chain shows us how Gen Z and Millennials—the most health-conscious, greenest demographic on the planet—continue to be more willing to buy and eat meat and fast food as opposed to jump on the latest health craze.
Fads come and go, but authenticity is forever. Whether or not a product is genuine will always make a difference to consumers, with food products and beyond. After all, reality will always be real.