Report reveals consumers' age-based restaurant distinctions

June 5, 2008
CHICAGO — Chicago-based Technomic Information Services has released a "Generational Consumer Trend Report," which found that age-based distinctions among consumers' use of restaurants run deeper than originally expected.
The findings reveal that numerous and often-subtle factors play an important role in shaping menu and restaurant trends, and examines attitudes and behaviors relevant to restaurant services for three generational segments: the Baby Boomers (age 43 to 62); Generation X (age 32 to 42); and Millennials (age 16 to 31). In addition, the report looks at differences across and within each generation.
Among the findings presented within the report:
  • Millennials are the largest users of natural and organic foods, whereas Baby Boomers are more likely to believe in balanced meals, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and avoidance of fats.
  • Boomers are more interested in limiting trans fat consumption than are other generations. The majority of Boomers interviewed (51 percent) said they avoided trans fats on a regular basis, as opposed to 34 percent for Millennials and 37 percent for Gen Xers.
  • Nearly half of all Millennials eat more meals away from home than at home, a larger proportion than among Gen Xers or Boomers. Only four in 10 Gen Xers dine out more frequently than they eat at home, while Boomers tend to reserve dining out for special occasions.
  • Though all three generations rated freshly prepared food as an important factor in choosing a restaurant, they differed in the importance of other factors. Forty-five percent of both Millennials and Boomers said that the opportunity to increase or decrease portion size is important in choosing a restaurant for a dine-in meal, whereas availability of kid-friendly menus was important to 47 percent of Gen Xers.
  • Millennials are most open to ordering foodservice via the Internet, though ordering preferences differ between males and females. Women are far more likely than men to place online orders for takeout (36 percent for females compared to 21 percent for males), with the difference increasing for delivery orders (48 percent for females, 30 percent for men).
Results of the new "Generational Consumer Trend Report" were based on an in-depth survey of more than 1,500 consumers. An additional section using psychographic analysis divides consumers into segments by attitudes, values and interests to identify new and alternate market segments. To purchase or learn more about the "Generational Consumer Trend Report," visit

Topics: Associations , Food & Beverage , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

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