Making sense of millennials’ food habits

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With 2018 marking the first year millennials’ spending power surpasses the baby boomers’, analysts at Bernstein Research said discerning the food habits of this younger generation takes on a new urgency.

In a recent research report delving into how the group spends its food dollars, the analysts conclude that millennials eat a higher share of their meals in restaurants than any other demographic. In addition, millennials are the most likely to have purchased prepared meals, regardless of where they eat them, compared with Gen X, baby boomers and traditionalists.

The millennial group spends far less time on food prep than older generations, despite working the fewest hours per week, even fewer than traditionalists, who are often retirement age, the report said.

And millennials allocate the highest share of their food budgets to prepared food: 7.5 percent vs. 6.6-6.9 percent for the other generations. Bernstein said this preference persists across all income levels for the group. Delivery is also pervasive in the lives of millennials.

“So far, restaurants seem to be winning the battle for share of stomach among millennials, with millennials spending the most time eating out of any of the generations,” the Bernstein analysts wrote.

“This prioritizing of convenience above all else is a positive for restaurants generally. … And it is especially advantageous for those offering delivery and to-go. The lower inclination to shop around or look for coupons is also why everyday value resonates so well and why price point offers ($5.99 pizza, $1 menus) are unlikely to go away any time soon.”


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