The Millennial generation, born between 1981 and the 1996, eats out in restaurants or bars around 30 percent more often than any other generation, a USDA Economic Research Service ( ERS ) analysis finds. Millennials devote the smallest share of their food spending to grains, poultry and red meat and allocate more proportionately to prepared foods, pasta and sugary sweet foods than older generations, says the report “Food Purchase Decisions of Millennial Households Compared to Other Generations,” by Annemarie Kuhns and Michelle Saksena. Because Millennials are now the largest, most diverse living generation, their purchasing behavior heavily influences the food chain, it says. “Their grocery store habits may change as they age, but current differences from older generations could have implications for future food demand. Market analysis has shown that this generation is demanding healthier and fresher food and spending less of their expenditures on food at home.” Each preceding generation spends more on at-home food than the following generation, the authors conclude. Traditionalists (born before 1946) make the most grocery trips per month of all generations and the frequency of visits generally declines with each successive generation, with Millennials shopping at food stores the least.
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