It's all about the research team's findings today! Until this very moment, our research team has proudly gathered a lot of findings from scientific papers, giving us insights of young adults, their mindsets, eating habits and many aspects that affect their decision-making processes from numerous sources. That being done, The Lab's progress is noticeably keeping its track towards gaining a deep understanding of young adults, food production, and sustainability.

Healthy diet as a Greek

It is found that among a wide diversity of cultures and countries, sustainability is defined differently. The Greek consider the meals that have been constantly consumed since their childhood are considered the sustainable ones. It explains the resistance to change among the Greek in terms of diets. In other words, it is very difficult for them to switch to any other diet which is different from what they have been accustomed to.

Factors interfering decision-making of young people

Taste - It is concluded that taste plays a key role in determining young people to buy food. If the taste is not up to expectation, there will be no reason for them to repurchase. From the food producers' perspectives, one of the priorities is to consider taste as their quality indicator. The taste should impress people, even better than what people have been expecting.

Lifestyle - Millennials are always in a rush, they do not have enough time to invest in a proper meal, thus it is always the case that they prefer on-the-go food while putting taste as one of the priorities to choose what they eat. Although having a tasty meal and consuming ready-to-go food at the same time seems to be contradictory, this is a potential direction to develop a food type that attracts millennials if those needs are satisfied. Most millennials believe in the word of mouth, they are more likely to buy food that has been recommended by their family, friends or simply will follow trends created on social media. Millennials vastly concern about time, but they also care for their well-being, they like to explore the Internet and search for simple, easy-to-cook recipes. Lastly, different lifestyles result in a diversity of eating habits, which should be added to one of the points for further research to prove.

Price - Surprisingly, young people are well aware of sustainability, they would love to use recyclable products and organic products. However, some articles show that young people can’t afford sustainable food due to the high price, which resists them from buying the food, so once the price is compromised, it will be a breakthrough to overcome the limits.

Label - Another component that affects consumers' buying decision is labelling, they care about what is inside the food they are consuming and what ingredients is the food made from. Whatsoever, since it requires detailed comprehension of food to understand the labels, some people will find it inconvenient to look up labelling information. Overall, more generalized labelling should be generated as a critical factor to deliver food insights to consumers and encourage their buying decisions.

Awareness - Young people eating habits are affected by their awareness of food choices and their trusts in the food system, they are aware of food-related properties such as sustainability, environment and animal welfare. They are also concerned about the food sources and their origins, care about the benefits of the local farmers, and they would love to know about how companies show empathy to the environment, becoming factors that should be labelled on food.

Sustainable eating in millennials’ perspective

Millennials own a clear awareness of the environment. Yet, at the end of the day, they will not choose to buy sustainable food if the price is unaffordable regardless of how they care for the environment. Most people think that sustainable food has a lot of nutrition, but young people views define sustainable food by ethics, and that is one of the main reasons they buy sustainable food. During the Corona situation, people are even more aware of package, hygiene, seasonal food. They care about what lies inside the package, whether or not it is sustainable, for example, vegan food might taste like meat but what is it made of. Regarding meat consumption, some people do not want to eat red meat, some find it is no problem to do so. This has brought us to the assumption that if we successfully make sustainable food that tastes great, it would be very likely lead to more consumption in young adults.

Millennials’ traits that shape their consuming behaviours

  • Personalization is a must: young people prefer to individualize their diets

  • Eating is not just eating: they like to integrate eating with other activities such as entertainment, leisure that create pleasant emotions while eating

  • Love sharing: millennials like to go out for social sharing, for mix-culture learning, so their food choices are not limited to one or two cultures

  • Know their focus: they understand themselves and what they want, specifically, based on their focus on food, 4 groups of young consumers are formed as followed

  1. Committed to sustainability

  2. Care about health, nutrition, ingredients and healthy recipes

  3. Active, flexible and efficient lifestyles that prefer simple recipe from social media

  4. Social foodies that link eating with emotional experience

Problems in choosing sustainable food

Young people hate greenwashing, but it is becoming harder to recognize, because sometimes the companies concern more on the packaging, making them look sustainable, recyclable, but does not have much impact on the product itself. People who buy different labels have different preference on the characteristics. For example, between EU quality label and organic label, people buying organic label concern about whether the packaging is recyclable or not while the EU label does not, leading to different importance and expectation for different consumer groups.

Young people perceive the concept of sustainability is something natural, organic, so GMO food does not necessarily stand for sustainable food.

Potential food development

Analysis on millennials and Gen Z always intersect with respect to the objectives and what to find in the research, but there is a lack of data every time, so scientific findings is are not so important to find eating patterns and preferences of generation. What's more important is to gain information from a large enough group of millennials and Gen Z to get proper and valid data.

In the future when the problem with food is too severe, we might as well start eating insects. In which case, the role of the chef is no more processing food but playing with the taste. They will be playing as a food magician to make crappy food tastes good, deciding whether that food will be accepted and consumed by the customers.

Overall, there are factors that drive young people's buying decision. If these are considered and embed into the traits of future food innovations, young people will be likely to choose sustainable food rather than non-sustainable ones.

Don't forget to follow @thalabinnovation to keep up with research and interesting updates.

Here is a small introduction of out most amazing research team for The Lab project about food consumption in Europe in 2030. We are proud of our team that consist of many students and graduates from all around Finland. Let's meet the research team!


Hello 👋 I'm Hannele Toivonen from Finland and I'm part of the research team. I have a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Jyväskylä. In the autumn I will start my master's studies in the University of Helsinki, in a programme called Environmental Change and Global Sustainability. 🌍

My favourite food is Nepalese momos. 😋

Fun Fact: I have a curious mind. I enjoy learning new ways to think, discovering different places and knowing people from different backgrounds. 🤓


Hei 👋 I'm Dorcas from Lagos Nigeria. I studied Research Chemistry at the University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu.

Fun fact about me... I often make weird faces in pictures🤪 Favorite emoji is hmmm🤔

I'm working with the research team and it's has been a pleasant experience.


My name is Bolutife Ilori and I am currently doing my masters’ at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio campus.

I am studying Environmental Health and Technology and I work in METES Research Team.

I don’t have a specific favorite food.

I love to explore and visit new places.


Hi, Im Mariana, I am from Brazil and am currently doing my masters in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics.

My favourite food to eat is my mom's coconut pudding with strawberries, which I tried making, but hers always taste better.

A fun fact, I am unable to blink only one eye, twist my tongue or snap my fingers, and I am always impressed when people do them in such ease.


Hi! I’m Kanitta, I’m from Thailand and now studying at LUT university for sustainability science and solutions.

I love to eat spicy food of course 🌶🌶 and yes Thai food/Asian food 😊

Fun fact about is that I’m quite introvert but if I getting to know someone I’m very friendly and easy going 😎 I’m up for outdoor activities like biking & chilling and do some sport (also winter sports like snowboarding) 🥰🏂


Hello! My name is Daniela, and I am from Mexico! I am studying MSc in Molecular Systems Biology at University of Turku.

I love tacos, specially if the are bathed in green sauce (salsa verde 💚) and I also love pasta!

As a fun fact, I collect coffee mugs. I even have one with a bell! Sadly, they are all in Mexico but I’m starting my collection here in Finland! 😂💙

Here it is, our amazing research team! We welcome you to follow us along on this project also in Instagram @thelabinnovation! :)

We have gathered an amazing, fun and very knowledgeable team for our ongoing project. Students and recent graduates all around Finland from different backgrounds coming together for this awesome opportunity to be a part of The Lab. Let's meet the team!


I am Rim, International Business student and passionately curious about life.

''Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible'' -Audrey Hepburn, This is one of my favorite quotes, hence I love adventure, challenges and to sneak out my comfort zone.

I am also a cat lover, a painter, and most of all a dreamer.


Hello folks!

My name is Michal Katerinjuk and I am proud to be a second year student of International Business at LAB University of Applied Sciences (@labfinland) in Lappeenranta. The role of mine is placed in a management team. Living in Finland has changed my palate and cold smoked salmon became the number one food! However, I still share the same passion as most of Finns - potatoes! Boiled, roasted, mashed or distilled even better!


Hi!! I'm Ashley from Management team and I'm studying at Arcada UAS.

I like sports, especially basketball, and my inside dream is to break the stereotype that basketball isn't for shorties.

Besides the active moments of having fun with friends and new people I meet, I also enjoy some alone time for relaxation.


Hello everyone, my name is Annie. I am currently a second year IT student at Metropolia UAS.

My favorite thing to do every day is yoga and meditation 🧘🏻‍♀️

If I were a food, I would choose my most favorite dish🍲 because this hot pot represents the Asian cuisine and culture of where I come from, which is famous for hot dishes and the tropical weather. Can’t wait to get to know you all!



My name is Snabel Kassem I’m 21 years old.

I study international business and logistics at Metropolia university of applied sciences.

I’m interested in a healthy lifestyle, training, hiking, and cooking.

Shawarma is my favorite food.

I’m part of the management team in The Lab and I’m so happy that I’m working with professional people on an innovative project.


Hiiii guys!! I'm Petra, a second year BBA student at Metropolia UAS studying international business and logistics.

My favorite food is strawberries and chocolate and if I could I would eat just those for the rest of my life.

I'm quite shy and introvert but once you get to know me I can be easily incited to anything fun and crazy.

Here it is, the management and marketing team! Welcome to follow us along on this project also in Instagram @thelabinnovation! :)

Neon Sign