What Millennials Prefer At The Grocery Store: Prepared Foods, Pasta, Sugar And Sweets

Jan. 4, 2018

According to the Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Millennials are spending more of their grocery bill on prepared foods, pasta, sugar and sweets than other generations are. On average, Millennials spend less of their food budget at the grocery store and make fewer trips to the grocery store than do other generations examined by the ERS. What Millennials are interested in buying at the store is healthier and fresher food, and also food that is convenient. According to research the ERS did in partnership with private research company Information Resources Inc. (IRI) in 2014, Millennials and Gen X'ers spend less at the grocery store per each person in the household per month than do Baby Boomers and Traditionalists (born before 1946). Younger generations (survey respondents under 25) spent 6 percent of their food budgets eating out versus 4.8 percent by respondents between the ages of 55 and 64 years old. This research shows that the difference in food spending between the generations suggests younger generations have a stronger preference for eating out at away-from-home venues.  

Millennials purchased more of prepared foods, pasta, and sugar and candies than other generations. They spent 13.6 percent of their at-home food budget on these three categories, and spent the least on grains, poultry, and red meat.  

As income rises, all generational groups were seen to spend more on vegetables, fruits, red meats, and sugar and candies, while spending on poultry decreased.  

At-home food budget spending on prepared foods such as frozen entrees and instant breakfasts was highest among Millennials. Millennials also spent significantly less time on food preparation, presentation, and clean up, according to ERS research. On average, Millennials spent 88 minutes doing food preparation, presentation, and clean-up, which was 55 minutes less than Gen X'ers who spent the most time at 143 minutes.