What and How Millennials Are Eating

This year, Millennials are poised to have more spending power than Baby Boomers, and it could be a boon for HPP products. Their purchasing behavior heavily influences the current retail landscape, so everyone wants insight into what they’re buying, and how that differs from their parents. A recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dives into some of the preferences of the Millennial generation, usually defined as people born between 1981 and the mid-2000s.

According to the study, Millennials have a strong preference for convenience, and eat at restaurants about 30 percent more than any preceding generation. Fast Casual restaurants like Chipotle and Shake Shack are more popular than ever. Plus technologies like mobile ordering and delivering apps making getting a prepared meal even more expedient.

When Millennials do eat at home, it’s noted they make the fewest trips to the grocery store per month of any other generation. Though they spend less on food at home in total, they do spend more on prepared foods, pasta, and sweets. Millennials are also into fruit and vegetables, showing a higher preference for items in the produce section than preceding generations. Millennials devote the smallest share of their food expenditures to grains and meat.

When it comes to preparing food at home, Millennials spent much less time in the kitchen. This accounts for the rapid rise of “meal kit” companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meals like Perfect Fit Meals and “pre-prepped” meals, such as Kroger’s Prep+Pared meal kits are also becoming increasingly in grocery stores. And while convenience is important to Millennials, they also demand cleaner labels, and food devoid of artificial additives. Technologies like high pressure processing that extend the shelf life of fresh food without chemicals or heat have become popular additions to food companies’ product lines.

The complete USDA report can be found here.