Murderous Millennials Claim Their Next Victim: Canned Tuna

Any non-millennial will agree that millennials are murderers. They are slaughtering longstanding industries with modern technology and new life habits.

Do not forget these young consumers are going broke by spending all their money on avocado toast and really cannot buy anything else, either – much less a beginner home. We have documented the dozens of industries millennials have been killing over the course of this business cycle.

Millennials are expected to become a majority of the workforce by the mid-2020s. This leaves room for the idea of creative destruction, a term coined by Joseph Schumpeter in “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” in 1942, describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”

Century-old tuna companies like StarKist Co., Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea International have been put on the chopping block by millennials.

The Wall Street Journal reports millennials are killing canned tuna, as companies desperately try to reboot demand for tuna by marketing it in new pouches and ultra trendy flavors or labeling it as a healthy snack.

Consumption of canned tuna has collapsed 42% per capita from the last three decades through 2016, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

Industry leaders place even more considerable blame on millennial consumers, who want fresher or more convenient options.

“A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers,”  Andy Mecs, vice president of marketing and innovation for Pittsburgh-based StarKist, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Dongwon Group, told the Journal.

Millennials have been accused of killing major American institutions, including marriage and homeownership.

However, one of the most significant changes could be American pantries. Millennials are abandoning canned tuna for the same reasons they have given up on American cheese and cereal – they are fed up with processed food.

Young consumers are also troubled by tuna’s strong fishy smell, said the Journal.

The tuna trouble started in the mid-1980s when it became associated with killing dolphins and unsustainable fishing practices.

Alternative brands, including Wild Planet Foods Inc. and Safe Catch Inc., are trying to disrupt the status quo and cater to millennials. They are attracting young consumers with bold promises of safer, more sustainable and higher-quality fish. 

Smaller brands, excluding store brands, as of October controlled 6.3% of the packaged tuna market, compared with 3.7% in 2014, according to the Journal.

“Sales have grown tremendously,” said Bill Carvalho, Wild Planet’s founder and president. “Unlike the larger brands, which cook their tuna twice…Wild Planet cooks it fish once in the can, allowing it to marinate in its natural juices and healthy oils.”

“Annual sales now near $100 million for the 14-year old company, which offers 30 items in supermarkets nationwide,” he said.

In response to the fracturing of the market, thanks to those pesky millennials, the two big tuna makers have launched their premium brands in recent years. Bumble Bee sells Wild Selections and StarKist offers Blue Harbor, marketing the lines as sustainably fished.

Similarly, Chicken of the Sea recently began selling resealable cups of trendy flavored tuna earlier this year. 

Timmy Mathew, a 26-year-old tax accountant in Chicago, told the Journal he was not opposed to trying the new tuna products from legacy brands. “There are food trends—quinoa and kale are hot. Canned tuna has never been hot.”

What did social media have to say about this?

 Add canned tuna to the millennial kill list.