Being under 30 is rough. You have to sit by while old people (over 40s) loudly unwrap their Werther’s Originals and make sweeping generalizations about your avocado obsession and your participation trophies. You have to worry about your overwhelming student loan payments, about our dwindling natural resources, and whether or not you should be OK with the yodeling Walmart kid showing up at Coachella. And on top of that, you occasionally have to handle raw meat.
But one of Britain’s biggest supermarket chains wants to eliminate the “Y THO”-levels of stress from meat-touching, and is launching touch-free packages of meat just for its squeamish Millennial customers. Sainsbury’s says that its new chicken packaging will allow dry-heaving home cooks to slide the meat directly from the plastic pouch into the pan, and will not require them to place a single finger on a piece of glistening poultry flesh. Sainsbury’s says, “You’re welcome.”
According to The Sunday Times, the chain decided to change its packaging after a marketing research survey revealed that 37 percent of Millennials said they “preferred not to handle raw meat” while they cooked their meals. “Customers, particularly younger ones, are quite scared of touching raw meat,” Katherine Hall, product development manager for meat, fish and poultry at Sainsbury’s, told the outlet. “These bags allow people, especially those who are time-poor, to just ‘rip and tip’ the meat straight into the frying pan without touching it.”
Hall said that some of Sainsbury’s twentysomething customers are freaked out because of a “lack of education” about food safety or because they’re so used to eating out, that they’d just “prefer someone else” to cook for them. Still others are worried about the potential for getting food poisoning from raw poultry. (Hall said one focus group participant admitted spraying an antibacterial disinfectant on a plate of chicken before she prepared it, a seasoning technique that hopefully she never repeated. Or served to anyone. Or ate).
Although some customers might breathe legit sighs of relief, a lot of others are either dismissively rolling their eyes or clenching their own jaws in irritation. “So they are adding MORE plastic packaging when other retailers are trying to reduce? Crazy @sainsburys! If you can't bear to touch raw meat you shouldn't be eating it.” one critic tweeted, a sentiment that was frequently repeated in the supermarket’s mentions. And one Welsh paper covered Sainsbury’s announcement with an entire paragraph explaining why Millennials deserved that overused precipitation-based epithet. “So-called Millennials—those born after 1980—have been dubbed the “snowflake” generation by their elders,” the Daily Post harrumphed. “This is largely down to their generally sensitive and liberal approach to politics and heightened self awareness—although often stereotyped as sheltered and entitled.”
Sainsbury’s says that the new chicken packages will be available in its stores on May 3. Here’s hoping everyone can get by until then.