‘avo go if you think you’re hard enough
Unless you stay clear of the internet, which in recent times would not be such a bad thing, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the ludicrous association made between millennials and avocados.
As absurd as it sounds, a whole generation of challenged young adults across the globe have been defined by a little green fruit which has been used to symbolise an apparently irresponsible attitude to money. But where has all this stemmed from?
The beginnings of the avocado millennial meme (if we can even call it that) can be traced back to May 2017 when Australian luxury property developer Tim Gurner asserted that if young adults spent less time drinking coffee and eating avocado on toast, then maybe they could afford a deposit for a house: “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each”.
The Telegraph pointed out that even if millennials stopped eating avocados on toast every day at the value of £5.50, it would still take over 40 years to afford the average deposit for a first time home in London which is approximately £90,000.
Unaccepting of the feebleness of correlating eating breakfast with affording a roof over one’s head, Gurner went on: “When I had my first business when I was 19, I was in the gym at 6am in the morning, and I finished at 10.30 at night, and I did it seven days a week, and I did it until I could afford my first home. There were no discussions around, could I go out for breakfast, could I go out for dinner. I just worked.”
The avocado millennial affiliation didn’t stop there, though. Since Gurner’s comment the web has been inundated with stories about avocados in a painful reminder that many believe it is easy for any hardworking young person to save up, despite the average monthly rent of a one bedroom flat in London being £1,250 and the average takeaway wage in London for a graduate approximately £1,800 per month: giving you just £550 to eat, pay bills, socialise and of course save up for that all important deposit.
Articles titled “'Hold My Avocado' Is the Viral Catchphrase Millennials Have Been Looking For”, “TO AV AND TO HOLD Middle-class millennials now proposing with AVOCADOS in bizarre new trend”, “Avocado Toast Won’t Stop Millennials From Being Fattest Generation, Experts Say”, and “No we WON’T give up our avocado on toast, aspiring home buyers confirm” have all added fuel to the fire in recent months along with research from UK property firm Strutt & Parker which surveyed 2,000 young adults, with 87% saying they would not give up avocado on toast to get on the housing ladder.
But perhaps the strangest PR stunt that has been born of this association has come in the last couple of weeks from Virgin Trains. Following the incredibly limited release of the ‘millennial railcard’, which offered just 10,000 people between the ages of 26 and 30 the chance to buy a new railcard which offers up to 33% of the price of trains, Virgin Trains launched their #Avocard scheme.
The company tweeted: “Didn't bag a Millennial Railcard? Have no fear! Simply present an avocado in place of your railcard when booking your ticket and you'll be entitled to the same fantastic 1/3 off discount for one week only.” As expected the playful gesture did not go down well with everyone, with some commenting that it feels as though Virgin Trains were “taking the pi**”, and others asking "[What] if...rail travel...was just...affordable?".
Millennials or "snowflakes" as they are sometimes described in wider criticism as an age group of people with an ‘inflated sense of their own uniqueness’ who are ‘offended easily’, have come under a barrage of disapproval from baby boomers and those like Gurner who believe they simply not trying hard enough to save and contribute to the economy and the #Avocard scheme from Virgin Trains seems to have only worked to widen the gap between generations who appear to see the world very differently. It is important to remember that the avocado is just one facet of the disparagement that has been placed upon the next generation which has driven a wedge between two very diverse age groups.
But with the problems facing the economy, environment and peace in today’s world it does seem as though young people have a lot on their plate (aside from the obvious green stuff…). With so many global issues to answer, perhaps if everyone worked more cohesively toward one goal we may come closer to solving the issues at hand.