Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are the largest living generation and tracking to have more spending power than baby boomers this year, according to a Bernstein analyst. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce making up 35 percent and 56 million workers, and spend approximately $600 billion each year. Accenture projects their spending in the U.S. to grow to $1.4 trillion annually by 2020 and represent 30 percent of total retail sales. Because of these factors, It’s important for the food industry to recognize how millennials are spending their money, especially when it comes to their food.It’s important for the food industry to recognize how millennials are spending their money, especially when it comes to their food.Click To Tweet
Here are four ways millennials are impacting the food industry and how we eat:
Have it your way: In the words of Burger King, millennials want their meals their way and customization is the name of the game. According to Restaurant Business, 44 percent of millennials say the ability to customize their meal is an important factor when choosing where to dine. This refers not only to their choice in ingredients but also portion size. Foodservice brands can attract millennials by offering options for convenient ordering, add-ons, and self-serve stations.
Meet you in the freezer aisle: The frozen food industry is making a comeback according to Bloomberg, as millennials are opting for frozen fruits, vegetables and even meals because of the convenience and low cost compared to take-out. RBC Capital Markets says, “Americans in general are buying more frozen food, with volume growing in 2018 for the first time in five years, and Nielsen is estimating annual U.S. sales of frozen food at $53 billion.” According to Reuters, frozen food sales in the U.S. increased 1.4 percent in the last year, which can be largely attributed to young adults. In 2017, millennial households spent nine percent more than the average household per grocery store trip on frozen foods.
All about convenience: The International Food Information Council’s 2017 Food and Health Survey found that 55 percent of millennials identified convenience as a top driver in purchasing food compared to baby boomers who prioritized taste. Millennials have proven to be the catalysts behind the rise of meal kits, grocery delivery services, food trucks and online ordering trends. According to a survey by TIME’s MONEY, almost 30 percent of millennials and 26 percent of Gen-Xers (those aged 30-44) report trying a meal kit service, compared to only 12 percent of those over the age of 45.
Forget the cooking: Millennials are relying on take-out from restaurants more than othgenerations in the past. According to a recent Restaurant Business report, when millennials order food from restaurants, they are dining in only 42 percent of the time. The other restaurant visits are made up of 40 percent take-out and 19 percent delivery. The survey found that of all generations, millennials lead take-out orders, and 34 percent of them say they are visiting foodservice locations more now than they were two years ago. Reasons for this increase in visiting restaurants cited by millennials include less time to cook at home (45%) and that it’s more convenient to purchase food for takeout or delivery (38%).
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