(Originally written July 8, 2013)
What would you rather have, a big, juicy KFC Double Down or a big, hearty helping of foreign policy? Perhaps it’s no surprise that most Canadians choose the former, according to a pair of separate surveys both released today. As The NPD Group reports, “restaurant visits increased by 10 per cent between 2002 and 2012 (from 20 per cent to 30 per cent), while the share of grocery spending has had a correlating decrease (from 80 per cent to 70 per cent).” The NPD study also notes that “Millennials have had an increase of 157 million [restaurant] visits in the past six years, while the combined visits of Boomers’ and Mature Traditionalists’ increased by 241 million.” No word as to the increase of visits by Immature Traditionalists, but considering Rob Ford’s KFC diet, I’d assume that figure to be astronomical. 😉
But while Millennials might be eating more McDonald’s, one thing they’re not doing is discussing politics on Twitter. A Samara study entitled “Lightweights”—clearly not in reference to this country’s eating habits—found that “Just 17 per cent of Canadians say they have shared political content via social media in the last year; 15 per cent blogged about a political issue; 30 per cent used email or instant messaging to talk politics; and 25 per cent participated in an online discussion group for such purposes” as per Postmedia. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that at least 17 per cent of my Twitter feed is comprised of pictures of poutine—some of which were posted by other people. 😉
So, how do we fix this? As Dana McCauley, vice president of Marketing at Plats du Chef, told the NPD Group, “in order to cater to the vital Millennial group, restaurant executives need to make personal connections on the social platforms where they are seeking engagement.” Perhaps the same could be said of politicians—who wouldn’t wanna receive a special birthday greeting from Stephen Harper? Then again, perhaps the leaders of country could solve this problem by following the fast-food study. After all, no political event has ever garnered more mentions on social media than that time Rob Ford was videotaped entering a KFC*.
*not including that time when Rob Ford was alleged to have allegedly smoked an alleged substance allegedly believed to be alleged crack cocaine.