Generational shifts causing foodservice shake-ups

Chicago / IL. (tni) With older Gen Zers beginning college and millennials starting families, these lifestyle shifts are having a significant impact on the foodservice industry. At the same time, Gen Xers are increasingly becoming empty nesters while more and more baby boomers retire each day. Technomic’s «2018 Generational Consumer Trend Report» reveals the similarities, differences and evolutions within each generation and how brands can leverage these findings to drive growth and stay ahead.

«It’s interesting to see where generations align and where there are stark differences. Across all ages, consumers are more willing to pay a higher price for items described as fresh, scratch-made and real», explains Anne Mills, senior manager of consumer insights at Technomic. «In terms of differences, millennials are choosier parents than other generations have been and want all natural, organic foods for themselves as well as their kids. In older generations such as baby boomers, on the other hand, we are seeing a very slight decline in foodservice visits, but interest in prepared foods, opening up opportunities for grocery and convenience stores». Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Percent of consumers who have no choice but to eat meals on the run: Gen Z: 31 percent; Millennials: 39 percent; Gen X: 26 percent; Baby boomers: 19 percent
  • Percent of consumers who look up restaurant menus online: Gen Z: 61 percent; Millennials: 65 percent; Gen X: 48 percent; Baby boomers: 32 percent

Compiling findings from more than 1,450 consumer responses, as well as menu and industry data from the Ignite database, the comprehensive «2018 Generational Consumer Trend Report» serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to help them better understand how consumer usage, attitudes and preferences change depending on the generation, along with how the generations themselves are evolving.

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