What’s For Dinner Depends On The Generation At The Table

The Lempert Report
October 18, 2016

The NPD Group’s “A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating” takes an in depth look at each generation’s motivations, needs, and wants when it comes to dinner.

They compare the eating styles to be as different as the music that each generation listens to and calls their own. 

According to the report, millennials, who are all about personalization and wanting to add their own touch, want more control and involvement in the foods and meals they eat and believe that playing a part in the cooking process equates to “cooking from scratch as a result, this generation has shifted some of their dinner occasions from eating out to preparing meals at home. Millennials have been incorporating more side dishes into their dinners. 

The Gen Xers plan dinner meals around the family and calendar. Pretty exciting. ‘Nuff said about this group. 

Boomers, now empty nesters or who are concerned about their health & wellness are shifting some of their dinner occasions from in-home to restaurants. Boomers are also decreasing their side dishes and are focused on the center of the plate. 

Other trends they see include that homemade cooking has stabilized after decades of decline due to the increased interest in cooking among young adults. Center of plate proteins have rebounded among kids, teens, and young adults while older adults are consuming less protein.  

The topline of the report is that  “Millennials and Boomers answer the ‘what’s for dinner’ question differently. An understanding of the motivations and needs that drive each group’s answer to the dinner question will assist manufacturers and retailers in meeting their needs today and inform the future.”