Millennials – 52 million adults age 18 to 29 – made more than 13 billion of the 59 billion visits to foodservice establishments in 2010 and spent $73 billion dollars.
That’s according to marker researched NPD Group, which noted this generation’s considerable clout that’s expected to group over the next decade, driven by immigration. Much of the buzz about this generation focuses on its collective behaviors, but a recently released NPD foodservice market research report examines the diversity among this age group.
The report, Reaching the Millennial Generation, which studies what motivates and satisfies millennials when it comes to foodservice meals and snacks, finds that millennials represent a diverse generation of varied values, tastes and preferences. The report also found that to meet millennials’ interests and needs foodservice operators will need to offer greater menu variety.
“Millennials will overtake baby boomers as the most sought-after target for restaurateurs in the coming years,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst and report author. “In order to attract this generation, foodservice operators and manufacturers will need to understand both the similarities and differences among millennials.”
One of the collective behaviors among millennials the report identifies is that they spend more than half of their foodservice dollars on ordering food for takeout. As a group, they spend a higher percent of their total foodservice dollars than other generations on snacks, and have a higher order incidence of snack food items like ice cream, nuggets and mini sandwiches.
According to the report, millennials differ from one another in a variety ways, including ethnic diversity. For example, one in five millennials is Hispanic. The working status of those within this age group also differs. Among the 1,933 millennials surveyed for the report, 47 percent are full-time students, 9 percent are part-time students and 44 percent are not a student. Forty-four percent are not employed, 30 percent work 35 or more hours a week and 32 percent work less than 35 hours a week.
“Millennials are moving into their heavy foodservice using years, and this is the time to reach them to build their loyalty,” Riggs said. “In reaching out to them, it’s important to understand that millennials are not a one-size-fits-all generation and their needs and wants are varied.”
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries, including automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, and food.