The Millennial Generation, born between the years of 1982 and 1996, have graduated into adult life as the largest generation in the US. What makes the Millennial generation so interesting is that they're working in an era of tech-savvy desk jobs. Additionally, they are a generation dealing with significant student debt, high rent, low wages, and unemployment. Millennials are settling down later in life, partly due to finances. They are a health-conscious generation, but they're also looking for the fastest and easiest option for their next meal.
Millennial food preferences have become a key factor in understanding the best ways to market this innovative and busy generation. Below, we’ve shared five preferences from SmartBrief that are shaping millennial diets.
For a generation that thrives on multitasking, the grab-and-go meal has become an obvious choice for a busy millennial. Grab-and-go food is any ready-to-eat item, such as pre-made sandwiches, salads, and fruit bowls. These convenient, prepared meals are typically made daily with fresh ingredients. Millennials prefer grab-and-go meals for the convenience of not having to wait for food to be prepared after ordering it.
2. Ordering with Apps
According to a recent study done by Datassential, millennials are spending significantly less time cooking meals, and instead prefer ordering in. Delivered meals have risen in popularity, thanks to the increased use of smartphone delivery service apps. This reliance on app technology comes as no surprise, since the millennial generation plays an outsized role in the booming tech industry.
3. Dining Out with Pictures
If a millennial isn't ordering food with a delivery app, they are almost certainly dining at a restaurant. Furthermore, they are snapping photos of their food with their smartphones and sharing these images on social media. Restaurants have responded to this growing trend by creating more stylized plates and provocative foods that will attract the millennial crowds.
4. Fast-Casual Lunch
The most popular meal for a millennial has become lunch, which is why the elevated "fast-casual" experience is taking off. The millennial generation grew up on fast food, and they prefer getting things done quickly. At the same time, they have become more health-conscious, so they're choosing food that promises speed and high-quality ingredients. Fast-casual restaurants are no longer providing fried and greasy meals, and instead are offering balanced and fresh food. More recently, top-ranking fine dining restaurants are joining the fast-casual ranks as well.
5. New Ways of Grocery Shopping
While millennials clearly prefer to have someone else do the cooking, there is a slowly growing trend of home-cooked meals. Millennials enjoy specialty supermarkets like Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but they're far more likely to buy groceries from convenience stores (or online). In general, millennial consumers are looking for a more pleasant and interesting shopping experience.
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