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Millennials’ Eating Habits Are Changing the Food Landscape

In News, Trends by Amelie Welden0 Comments

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) recently surveyed shoppers between the ages of 20 and 29 to gain insight on Millennials’ food choices and eating behaviors.

How America’s Eating Habits Are Changing” reveals insights about shopping trends, mealtime preferences, and more. Read on for some of the highlights.

Millennials eat meals and snacks throughout the day.

  • Half of survey respondents say their meals are unscheduled, and more than half (56%) take breaks to eat whenever they’re hungry.
  • 62% eat snacks regularly, with 47% averaging four or more snacks each day.
  • Top reasons Millennials snack include needing something to hold them over for a later meal, being in a rush, and being too busy for a meal.

Millennials incorporate food into their daily activities.

Survey respondents say they often eat while they are:

  • Working (52%)
  • On the run (37%)
  • In the car (31%)
  • Attending a community or sports event (28%)
  • Exercising or playing sports (17%)

Formal and social mealtimes are still valued, as well.

  • 71% of survey respondents look forward to mealtimes, and 58% view eating as a social activity to be shared with friends.
  • More than half sit down to eat with other household members at least 3-4 times a week.

New eating habits are boosting the popularity of prepared and easy-to-make foods.

  • At the supermarket, one-third of survey respondents purchase food they can heat and eat, and 29% buy prepared or ready-to-eat items.
  • Three in ten order food for delivery and takeout, while 19% often get meals from food box delivery services.

Millennials also enjoy cooking at home and from scratch.

  • When eating at home, 64% of respondents enjoy making food from scratch.

Millennials shop for food regularly, but at a limited number of stores.

  • 80% visit a food store at least once a week.
  • 75% say they are most likely to shop at traditional supermarkets.

Freshness is the name of the game.

  • More than 40% of Millennials are “very interested” in the freshness of foods and ingredients.
  • Compared to their parents, 31% say they eat more fresh and freshly-made foods, and 39% say they eat less processed foods.

Millennials are looking for healthy, tasty, and novel food options.

  • When it comes to food, respondents say they are very interested in:
    • Health (42%)
    • Nutrition (39%)
    • Pleasure (36%)
    • Energy and stamina (34%)
    • Discovering something new and exciting (33%)

Millennials’ eating habits are shaped by transparency and “free-from” options.

  • 90% of Millennials say they’re aware of the ingredients in the food products they eat.
  • 75% read nutritional labels, and 72% are aware of who actually makes or produces the food they eat.
  • One in four Millennials say it is very important to avoid GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, and high-fructose corn syrup.
  • One in five say it is very important to avoid sodium, artificial colors and flavors, food additives, and “ingredients they can’t pronounce.”
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Apps are becoming more significant in food shopping.

Respondents say they use apps to:

  • Get grocery coupons (41%)
  • Find recipes (36%)
  • Shop for groceries (29%)
  • Order food from restaurants (26%) and supermarkets (20%)

For more details, download PLMA’s report here.

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