Trends in Millennial Diets

Millennials devote about a month and a half each year to food, with the time spent meal-prepping and cooking to eating out, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by vegetarian and plant-based food producer Sweet Earth Foods and conducted by OnePoll found Millennials spend $2,242 at the grocery store and $1,672 dining out over the course of a year and they try an average of 46 new foods, reported The New York Post (Aug. 27).

Millennials’ relationship to food is unique from previous generations, as almost six in 10 currently subscribe to a special diet, such as plant-based, Keto, vegan or Whole 30. Forty-four percent of those who follow a special diet do so because it’s better for the environment, while 37% believe it’s more ethical.

Additionally, Millennials make about 17 tweaks or changes to their diet per year, with the top changes being eating healthier foods, avoiding sugar/carbs and focusing more on plant-based foods. A further 34% have cut down on their meat consumption.

A year in food includes dining out 90 times—split evenly between friends and out on a date. Yet, not all Millennials are choosing to eat out with some being held back because of a lack of time or money. Forty-two percent report eating healthier when they cook for themselves.

Seventy-four percent of those on special diets find it more difficult to eat at restaurants, and 59% feel like there’s judgement to ordering and buying foods that subscribe to a special diet.

To capitalize on this cohort, Yelp is launching a new personalization function that allows users to tailor the app to each person’s individual lifestyle preferences, which could make eating at restaurants easier for those with restrictions.

Users will be able to indicate their personal dietary and accessibility preferences, lifestyle attributes and once the preferences are set, the app will tailor search results specifically for the user. Preferences include dietary preferences, food and drink categories, interests, lifestyle and accessibility.

Meanwhile, when Millennials prepare meals at home, they find inspiration from a variety of sources with friends, parents and cookbooks being the top three—beating out social media. However, respondents are using social media for other things such as posting photos of their food (26% have taken 10 or more photos to get one that is social media-worthy).

When it comes to what they choose to eat, top priorities are cost, having it be full of nutrients and without artificial additives. This is followed by organic food and plant-based.