Meat+Poultry - August 2018 - 68


The largest living generation has spending and
eating habits unlike the generations before them
BY J E N N I FE R B A R N E T T F OX | m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d.c o m

the food
habits of
to other
exhibit an
preference for

MEAT+ POULTRY | 08.18 |

When comparing the food purchasing
habits to other generations, millennials exhibit
an increased preference for convenience. The
greatest share of millennial food spending goes
toward ready-to-eat foods, with an emphasis
on fresh, healthy options, according to the
US Dept. of Agriculture's (USDA) "Food
Purchase Decisions of Millennial Households
Compared to Other Generations," December
2017. A preference for convenience finds
this demographic skewing toward products
that require a minimum of time spent on
preparation, presentation and cleanup. USDA
found millennials spend 55 minutes less on
food prep compared to members of Gen X, and
nearly two-thirds of the group cited purchasing
prepared food in the prior seven days.
While the purchase and consumption of
food away from home accounts for the largest
portion of millennial food budgets, this group
is beginning to broaden their definition of
food away from home to include in-store
purchases of prepared food items that require
minimal preparation and feature an element
of the experiential.

Millennials seeking out the experiential look
for bold, innovative flavors and desire to know
the story behind a product. This is a group who
seeks transparency from those they purchase
from and who want to connect with producers
and manufacturers through storytelling. When
purchasing a prepared meal or quick snack,
millennials seek out options that support local
producers and they look for products with
a "feel good" element. Whether in search of
a quick meal or an option requiring minimal

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tep aside baby boomers. Millennials
are now the largest living generation
and their spending habits and influence
signal significant changes in consumer
spending and are altering the retail landscape.
Born between 1981 and the mid-2000s, this
generation's sheer size promises to be a longterm disruptor of the status quo. To date, the
influence of millennials is triggering changes in
everything from workplace cultures to where
and how consumers buy and shop for food.
Significant differences within this highly
educated demographic correlate to when the
group came of age. The impacts of weathering
the effects of a recession continue to impact
the shopping habits of the oldest millennials
as compared to younger millennials who have
experienced fewer challenges finding a job,
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics'
"Fun Facts About Millennials: Comparing
Expenditure Patterns from the Latest through
the Greatest Generation," March 2018.
Considered the most-diverse generation
to date, millennials, who became
adults at the turn of the millennium,
are challenging to lump into
convenient categories,
particularly when compared
to the buying habits,
preferences and behaviors
of previous generations.
This group ranges from
recent college graduates who
still live at home to older
millennials who are now
around 37 years old, many of
which head a household that
includes multiple children.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2018