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CHICAGO – Value expectations for snacks vary based on the age of consumers and the type of venue from which snacks are purchased, according to Millennials and Baby Boomers: An Exploration of Around-the-Clock Snacking, a recent study by research and trend forecasting firm Culinary Visions Panel.
The study asked 1,314 consumers, including Millennials ages 19-36 and Baby Boomers ages 49-67, about their snacking behaviors and preferences when they eat away from home. Foodservice venues studied include quick service, fast casual, casual dining, convenience stores, supermarket deli, supermarket bakery, drug stores, cafeteria at workplace and cafeteria at school.
When not snacking at home, the majority of consumers are most likely to seek out snacks at quick-service restaurants and c-stores. However, Millennials are significantly more likely to purchase snacks at quick-service restaurants (QSR), c-stores and drug stores than Baby Boomers.
The majority of consumers also expect snacks away from home to cost between $1 and $3, but the survey showed that they have different price expectations based on the venue. Most expect to pay more for snacks at casual dining establishments compared to QSRs, c-stores and supermarket delis. Sixty-one percent of Millennials and Baby Boomers expect to pay more than $5 for a snack in a casual dining restaurant.
While a large number of both generations reported buying snacks from QSRs and casual dining outlets within the last 30 days, Baby Boomers state that they purchase snacks less often than Millennials from casual dining restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores. Millennials say they have visited convenience stores, supermarket delis, casual dining restaurants and quick service outlets more often than Baby Boomers in the past 12 months.
"Snack purchases and expectations vary by foodservice venue, and there are benefits to developing unique marketing strategies based on the segment," stated Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panels.
The study also noted that while around half of surveyed consumers purchased the same amount of snacks at supermarket delis and c-stores this year compared to last year, the majority of these respondents also report having cooked at home more often in the last year.