When it comes to foodservice at retail, Millennials are no different. In fact, Millennials are driving the trend of foodservice at retail, so understanding this shopper segment is critical.

The “Power of Foodservice at Retail” report, published by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va., looks at trends in retail foodservice and details how Millennial shoppers look at meals they prepare at home, eat in restaurants, take out and have delivered to them.

Here are some top findings that can help inform a foodservice-at-retail strategy:

  • Millennials (ages 19-37) average fewer weekly dinners that require some level of preparation. But, that doesn’t mean they care any less about nutrition or variety than those who prepare more of their own meals.
  • Older Millennials (ages 28-37) are interested in nutrition information. When it comes to making meal selections, older Millennials value good nutrition. The nutrition of the item is almost as important as speed of service. They expect the retailer to tell them how fresh a product’s ingredients are, and to provide information about any artificial ingredients.
  • Older Millennials also want to know about food safety measures and detailed calorie information. They want healthier alternatives when selecting meals from a retailer’s foodservice department, products like turkey meatloaf. In addition, this group wants more organic options.
  • While younger Millennials (ages 18-27) are also interested in nutrition, they are even more interested in variety and the ability to select from a number of different cuisines. Younger Millennials expect a better drink selection in foodservice, including different beers and wines. Among the options they would like to see are more vegetarian choices and chef-inspired meals. They demand more than just chicken when it comes to the deli meat selection, and they like to see menus change with the seasons.
  • Millennials of all ages want to experiment more with the world’s cuisines. Their favorites include Mexican, Mediterranean, Japanese/sushi, Thai and Vietnamese.