Butchers, Delis Get Gen Xers on Dinner Game Plans

It turns out each generation approaches the “What’s for Dinner?” question differently. If there is one meal that exemplifies the differences among generations, it’s dinner, finds The NPD Group. Each group’s motivations, needs, and wants when it comes to dinner are as varied as their taste in music, according to a recently released generational study published by The NPD Group.

Millennials, who are all about personalization and wanting to add their own touch, want more control and involvement in the foods and meals they eat. Because of this need, they have shifted some of their dinner occasions from away-​from-​home to in-​home. They see dinner as an experience and believe that playing a part in the cooking process equates to “cooking from scratch.”

The often forgotten Gen Xers plan dinner meals around the family and calendar. Conversely, Boomers, many of whom are empty nesters or are facing health conditions, are shifting some of their dinner occasions from in-​home to restaurants, according to NPD’s A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating.

Don't forget Generation X! Market to them and their family calendars! AudienceSCAN survey results say television (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) advertising will work on 35.6% of Generation X. They took action after seeing TV commercials in the past month.

As for what’s actually cooking for dinner, Millennials have been incorporating more side dishes into their dinners over the last decade, a gain that has been offset by Boomers decreasing their side dishes.  Homemade cooking has stabilized after decades of decline due to the increased interest in cooking among young adults. Center of plate proteins have rebounded among kids, teens, and young adults while older adults are consuming less.

Food retailers and meal delivery providers should target Gen Xers with Daily Deals (like Groupon or LivingSocial). AudienceSCAN data reports 47.2% of Gen Xers took action based on these in the past year.

A counterintuitive shift is taking place when it comes to eating behaviors that defies traditional aging patterns, and the dinner meal is an example of this shift,” says David Portalatin, vice president, industry analysis, The NPD Group. “Millennials and Boomers answer the ‘what’s for dinner’ question differently.  An understanding of the motivations and needs that drive each group’s answer to the dinner question will assist manufacturers and retailers in meeting their needs today and inform the future."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.