“Millennials are a critical consumer group to the foodservice industry, and finding ways to market to them can be difficult because they have high and varied expectations,” says Sara Monnette, director of consumer research for Technomic.
Consumers’ positive outlook of the future indicates that they may increase spending on foodservice within the next year, according to a Technomic survey.
Approximately 50% of the Millennial generation expects their personal financial situation to improve in the coming year, while only a fifth of all consumers surveyed (21%) think their financial situation will worsen over the next year.
In order to appeal to consumers to win their foodservice dollars, c-store operators, QSR operators and suppliers need to consider attitude and lifestyle differences by generation, particularly in their foodservice preferences.
“As Millennials begin to shift into new life stages, it is vital for restaurant chains to stay on top of their changing needs and preferences, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, quality and value,” said Sara Monnette, director of consumer research for Technomic.
Monnette said it goes deeper than just having quality food. Technomic has developed the Generational Consumer Trend Report to help c-store operators understand generational differences in buying trends. Findings include the following:
- Millennials might earn lower income than older consumers, but a greater percentage of Millennials (42%) than Gen Xers (33%) and Boomers (24%) report visiting upscale casual-dining restaurants once a month.
- Of all generations, Millennials are most influenced by coupons and discounts when choosing a restaurant. Forty-three percent agree that coupons and discounts influence where they purchase food.
- Younger consumers are more overwhelmed by their daily responsibilities and indicate that they do not have time to cook at home as often as they would like (Millennials 32% and Gen Xers 26%, but only 13% for Boomers).
- About a third of Millennials chose either often or very often when asked “How often do you choose restaurants because of the healthfulness of their menu?”
Technomic’s Generational Consumer Trend Report provides in-depth research on generational grouping. It also explores consumer foodservice patronage, attitudes and preferences based on findings from 1,500 participants. Retailers can purchase the report at Technomic.com.