May 10/Chicago/PRNewswire -- Millennials are unique. They communicate differently, are self-expressive, confident, liberal, upbeat, and open to change. Marketing to them can be a challenge. This group (ages 19-34) has a distinct perspective on dining occasions, placing more value on attributes like social responsibility, sustainability, local, and organic, grass-fed and hormone-free offerings. They foster emotional connections to brands and their loyalty stems beyond experience.

"Millennials visit restaurants more frequently than any other generation," says Darren Tristano, Technomic executive vice president. "Restaurant operators are making consistent efforts to track the purchasing habits of Millennials and appeal to their unique need states. Success with today's Millennial consumer will depend on making an emotional connection and setting expectations."

A new in-depth study for suppliers, “Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors of Millennials,” provides extensive consumer and operator insights across restaurant and non-commercial accounts, in addition to operators' best practices and unmet needs.

Top-Ranking Chains on Three Dimensions Valued by Millennial Consumers -- By Segment

Social Responsibility - Acting in a way that is good for the environment, treating employees well.

  • In-N-Out Burger - Quick Service
  • McAlister's Deli - Fast Casual
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store - Family-Style
  • Logan's Roadhouse - Casual Dining

Food Quality - For Millennials, food quality goes beyond taste and visual appeal, also incorporating sourcing elements such as grass-fed and free-range into their quality perception.

  • Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop - Quick Service
  • McAlister's Deli - Fast Casual
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store - Family-Style
  • Red Lobster - Casual Dining

Supports local community activities -- Makes charitable contributions, supports community organizations.

  • Chik-fil-A - Quick Service
  • Corner Bakery Cafe - Fast Casual
  • Bob Evans - Family-Style
  • Bonefish Grill - Casual Dining

 From the May 11, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News