Youngest U.S. Generations and Hispanics Will Drive Country’s Eating Behaviors Over the Next Five Years.

Jun 30, 2014

Eating Behaviors
The U.S. population is changing with Boomers aging, Generation Z and Millennials entering new life stages, and Hispanics making up a growing share of the younger generations, and these shifts will have a major impact on the country's eating behaviors over the next five years, finds a new study by The NPD Group. The influence of Boomers and older on eating patterns will fade as their populations and households shrink, and the impact of Generation Z (ages 0-23) and Millennials (ages 24-37), which made up over half of the U.S. population in 2013, will significantly increase, according to NPD's The Future of Eating: Who's Eating What in 2018?

Generation Z and Millennials are driving changes with their approach to food choice and preparation. These generational groups want more involvement, not necessarily more complexity, in preparing their food and meals, particularly at breakfast. Breakfast foods that are perceived to be fresher and require more prep or cooking, like eggs, hot cereal, and center plate proteins, are projected to grow by 8 percent over the next five years. Use of additives, another example that the younger generations want to have a say in the final output of their prepared foods, is expected to grow among Generation Z and Millennial groups by 9 and 8 percent respectively over the next five years.

The tastes and choices of U.S. Hispanics, which make up a large percentage of the Generation Z and Millennials groups, will also continue to grow in importance over the next five years. The study suggests Hispanics, including those born in the U.S., will continue to prepare and cook traditional Latino foods. The consumption of Hispanic foods, excluding frozen, is forecast to increase by 7 percent over the next five years among U.S. Hispanic Millennials. This group's preference is also for foods that are fresh and natural and that enable the cook to control the flavoring of the end product.

On the other end of the age spectrum, the Baby Boomer generation is aging, considering retirement, becoming empty nesters, and developing health ailments, all of which are typically associated with major changes in how food and beverage consumption is approached. This group will be less driven by the latest fad and more by what they need to sustain their health and lifestyles. Whole grains, protein, and calcium, or low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium will be important to younger and older Boomer groups now and in the coming years.

Source: Originally published on PRWeb as Youngest U.S. Generations and Hispanics Will Drive Country's Eating Behaviors Over the Next Five Years, Reports NPD, May 7, 2014.