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
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources