Approach to meals shifting among Millennials

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Dinner has become the dining experience that is differentiating Millennials from Gen Xers and Boomers, according to new research from NPD Group.

The Chicago-based information company found that the motivations, needs and wants of each generation are as different as their tastes in music. Millennials – generally seeking personalization and control of their meals – have shifted some of their dinner opportunities to more in-home experiences instead of dinners out. Gen Xers, on the other hand, are moving more toward planning dinner meals around the families and their calendars. Boomers that are empty nesters or facing health issues are moving toward more out-of-home meals at dinnertime rather than staying at home and cooking.

NPD’s report added that Millennials are incorporating more side dishes into their dinners while Boomers have reduced the number of sides they consume over the last 10 years. The overall number of homemade meals also has stabilized after decades of decline as more young adults show an increased interest in cooking. Center-of-plate proteins also are rebounding in popularity among kids, teens and young adults as older adults are consuming fewer proteins.

“Millennials and boomers answer the ‘what’s for dinner’ question differently,” explained an industry analysis at NPD. “An understanding of the motivations and needs that drive each group’s answer to the dinner question will assist manufacturers and retailers in meeting their needs and inform the future.”

Source:, 8-17-2016

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