NPD research: What drives millennials’ food choices?

Millennials are dining out less.

The NPD Group, a leading market research company, found in its recent National Eating Trends survey that members of the Millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, have significantly decreased their rate of dining out. This age group also tends to base their food choices on impulse, price and time. Here are other findings from the NPD report.

  • Twenty-somethings are more likely than other generations to consume frozen meals and other convenience foods.
  • Members of Gen Y are much less likely to use leftovers as opposed to members of other generations.
  • Cost is a major concern to Millennials. This group has been the most affected by the recession and is therefore more likely to go to low-priced retailers such as Walmart to purchase food.
  • According to NPD’s CREST, twenty-somethings were once the group that dined out the most frequently but their incidence of dining out has decreased greatly in the past two years.
  • Consumption of both meals and snacks has also decreased significantly for this age group.

Source: The NPD Group, August 12, 2010

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
packaged meals

While the multiple-choice questions on FoodService Director’s annual census surveys are a great way of gathering data on trends, I’ve always been rather partial to the open-ended queries. We can’t possibly think up every answer operators might have to a particular question, and it gives respondents a chance to show some personality as well. (A special nod to one cheeky operator’s not-quite-safe-for-work response to how they’re tackling shortened lunch periods—you made my day.)

So this year, for the first time since I’ve been at FoodService Director, I chose to include a very open-...

FSD Resources