Boomers vs Millennials: Study Finds Boomers to Snack More Often

Mar 09, 2016 07:18 PM EST | By Mark Jason Alcala

A new study reveals that different age groups have a markedly different snacking frequency as well.

Market research company NDP Group found out that  baby boomers, people born between 1946 to the last 1960s, beat millennials, the younger group born between 1982 and 2004, in terms of snacking frequency.

According to an article in FoodBusinessNews by Monica Watrous, boomers consume ready- to-eat snacks around 1,200 eating sessions a year which would translate to around 90.4 billion snack occasions in one year. In the same NPD Group study, the younger millennials averaged around 1,000 snacks per year per person which would total to around 83.1 billion eating sessions. The study was done by tracking the daily U.S. consumers snacking habits.

In addition, the study found out that even the factors which drive each age group seem to differ. For example, the younger millennials' main reason to consume a ready-to-eat snack is usually hunger motivated or as immediate hunger relief. On the contrary, older baby boomers tend to get snack foods as a replacement for preparing a big meal. This could be explained by another NPD observation about boomer snacking habits that they tend to eat alone more often than any other age groups, which probably makes meal preparations too much of a bother.

Darren Seifer, NPD food, and beverage industry analyst point out that the study shows the differences in snacking habits between age groups. Seifer, who is the author of NPD's "Snacking in America" study, adds that the study highlighted the difference in terms of motivation, snack choice, location and snacking time for each age group.

There seems to be one thing that is common to both boomers and millennials - their choice of snacks is based on preference on taste and craving. For both age groups, the top snack items are fruit, chocolate candy and potato chips. However, a pronounced difference is seen in other food items with boomers preferring nuts and yogurt while millennials have a tendency to choose tortilla chips and cookies.

The noted boomer preference of nuts and yogurt, which are considered healthier, confirms the conclusion of another previous study. A TGCMagazine article observed that boomers are eating healthier which it attributes to generally well-informed decisions in making food choices.

Going back to the NDP study, both boomers and millennials cannot compete with another age group in terms of snacking frequency. Those classified as younger than millennials or children and teens eat an average of 1,500 snack foods annually squarely beating both boomers and millennials.

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