When eating at foodservice venues, Baby Boomers prefer to stick with a limited selection of favorite snacks geared for different times of the day, while Millennials seek a variety of snacks not tied to day parts, according to a new study by Culinary Visions® Panel. 


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1,314 consumers were asked about their snacking behavior and preferences when eating away from home at nine different foodservice venues. The Millennial age group consisted of 942 respondent’s ages 19 to 36, while the 372 Baby Boomer participants ranged in age from 49 to 67.

This study also breaks down Millennials and Baby Boomers into five sub groups each, further segregating age ranges to provide greater insight into the snacking preferences of each demographic.

More than a third of Millennial consumers report that they are snacking more now compared to a year ago; in fact Millennials between the ages of 26 and 30 report snacking 3 or more times per day. Along with food from home, Millennials and Baby Boomers are frequenting convenience stores, quick-service restaurants, supermarket delis and bakeries for a quick bite.

The majority of both Millennials and Baby Boomers surveyed seek value and freshness when snacking away from home. But while Baby Boomers prefer inexpensive snack options, Millennials look for food items that are available to-go and in convenient locations to work or home.

Sharon Olson, Executive Director of Culinary Visions Panels says, “Targeting consumers by age and life stage within significant demographic groups, such as Millennials and Baby Boomers, can be effective in successfully promoting snacks in different foodservice venues.”

In looking at what influences snack choices, a good value is important to both groups of consumers, but only 20% of Millennials and 11% of Baby Boomers surveyed seek brand name snack items.