Consumers’ positive outlook on the future indicates that they may increase spending on foodservice in the next year.
Half of Millennials (50 percent) expect their personal financial situation to improve in the coming year, while only a fifth of all consumers surveyed (21 percent) think their financial situation will worsen over the next year.
In order to appeal to consumers and win their foodservice dollars, operators and suppliers need to consider attitude and lifestyle differences by generation, particularly as this translates into their foodservice needs, preferences, and expectations.
“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,” says Director of Consumer Research Sara Monnette. “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. Earning their dollars goes deeper than the quality of food.”
To help operators and suppliers understand each generation’s usage and attitudes toward foodservice, Technomic has developed the “Generational Consumer Trend Report.” Interesting findings include:
• Although Millennials earn a lower income than older consumers, a greater percentage of Millennials (42 percent) than Gen Xers (33 percent) and Boomers (24 percent) report visiting upscale casual-dining restaurants at least 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.
• A substantial percentage of Millennials (32 percent) and Gen Xers (26 percent) say they are overwhelmed by their daily responsibilities and indicate that they do not have time to cook at home as often as they would like. However, just 13 percent of Boomers are in agreement.
• 31 percent of Millennials chose either “often” or “very often” when asked, “How often do you choose restaurants based on the healthfulness of their menu?” Only 21 percent of Gen Xers and 18 percent of Boomers made that choice, aligning with data showing that more Millennials say it is important to eat healthy.
Technomic’s report provides an in-depth analysis of each generational grouping, separating each subgroup into “younger” and “older” consumers to assess how each cluster differs within their generational group, as well as their impact on and importance to the foodservice industry.
The report also explores consumer foodservice patronage, attitudes, and preferences based on survey results from 1,500 respondents. Consumer data from Technomic’s 2010 Generational Consumer Trend Report is highlighted throughout each of these sections to provide additional insights.