Millennials opting for taste and price over healthy fare, according to new study

 

Conducted in November, a new study by Coast Packing of 900+ millennials examined factors that appeal most to that demographic when dining out and when eating at home: taste, price, healthfulness, and availability/convenience.

Overall, taste is king both at home and in restaurants, cited as “most important” by 36 percent and 39 percent of respondents, respectively. Price ranks second for those dining out (35 percent) but is a bit less of a factor at home (27 percent). “Healthfulness” is a more significant consideration at home than when heading to a local eatery (20 percent to 13 percent), while convenience/availability is more of an issue at home than when dining out (17 percent to 13 percent)

“Whether you’re at a restaurant or in your own kitchen, the desire for the delicious remains paramount,” says Eric R. Gustafson, CEO of Coast Packing.

While the message for consumers may be that millennials follow their taste buds, the takeaway for the restaurant industry is that taste just barely edged out price as most decisive. Millennials are more cost-conscious than they are health-focused when they eat out, but health concerns rise in importance when prepping food in their own kitchen.    

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, millennials are now the nation’s largest generation and include some 75.4 million people. Forty-one percent eat out at least twice a week, compared to 37 percent of Baby Boomers and a like number of Gen Xers, per a study from foodservice research firm Technomic. Millennials spend 15 percent more of their discretionary income on experiences than other demographic groups.