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Technomic: Value-Driven Millennials ‘Do Lunch” the Most

CHICAGO (September 20, 2011-PR Newswire)—Research conducted for Technomic’s Lunch Consumer Trend Reportshows that Millennials (ages 18-34) are the heaviest users of foodservice during lunch. They’re also the most likely to use value-priced items to build their mid-day meals, according to the report.

While Baby Boomers and other older customers are most likely to be driven by value, the research found that they’re not as likely to see the value menu as a viable lunch option. “Baby Boomers are motivated heavily by value, but other significant motivations include health and quality of food,” says Technomic director of consumer research Sara Monnette. “The most health-conscious consumers skew 45 and older, so their value equation is different than that of a younger person who sees value primarily as a price issue. Older consumers are less likely to perceive value in dollar menu items because of the broader context of their motivations.”

Other key findings from Technomic’s lunch trends study:

  • Fast, portable, inexpensive away-from-home lunch options are top consumer priorities during the week. On weekends, they pay more attention to customization and fresh preparation.
  • Despite an increase in brown bagging during the week, 35 percent of surveyed consumers still buy lunch from a foodservice location at least twice a week and roughly one-third of all lunch occasions include food from restaurants or other foodservice operations.
  • More than half of consumers say they skip lunch at least once a week and about two-thirds say they replace lunch with a snack at least once a week. Operators can likely appeal to consumers who frequently replace lunch with snacks by offering a greater selection of smaller, better-for-you options.
  • Almost half (47 percent) of consumers say they primarily visit the same few familiar restaurants at lunch. However, even though they might stick to a relatively small number of restaurants, two out of five still say they eat a wide variety of foods for lunch, so variety and customization options remain important.

The full 2011 Lunch Consumer Trend Report is now available on Technomic’s online Access platform. To purchase or learn more visit Technomic.com.

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