Blue Plate Special: The Different Eating Habits of Millennials and Boomers

Blue Plate Special: The Different Eating Habits of Millennials and Boomers

Today’s Millennials are poised to become the largest generation in Canada as the numbers of their Boomer parents are starting to decline. Currently, Millennials (aged 19-37) and Boomers (aged 48-67) account for more than half of the Canadian population at 27% and 28% of the population, respectively. And when it comes to mealtime, these two groups have notably different dining habits.

Given the age difference between Millennials and Boomers, combined with their lifestyle differences, it’s no wonder the eating habits of these two generations vary. Today, 70% of Millennial meals happen at home, with more than 40% preferring fast, easy-to-prepare meals. So that means they’re either grabbing convenient on-the-go meals or eating out altogether 30% of the time. Boomers on the other hand, are eating more meals prepared at home, and they’re less particular about how long it takes to prepare them. Boomers have a more traditional perspective around mealtime than Millennials do and consequently prefer more homemade meals. And in that respect, they reserve dining out for special occasions.

But eating habits among these two generations vary beyond location. In fact, where they eat is just as different as who they’re eating with.

With With busy, on-the-go lifestyles becoming more common, comes the need for quick, portable meals, many opt for fast food options that can might bring in extra calories and few health benefits. For example, in 2014, 40% of Canadians reported consuming a snack instead of a meal to satisfy their hunger. This brings to the table a considerable untapped opportunity that if, executed well, may result in market share gains in the nutritious, portable and easy-to-eat meal alternative market. With such a slice of the pie up for grabs, understanding the impact of age on consumption can lead to the development of products suited to the lifestyles that reflect today’s generational differences.