Millennials And Boomers: Who Loves Snacks More in New York City?

Have you noticed more Millennials in the break room lately? If so, be sure there are plenty of snacks available because Millennials love their snacks. A workplace with a lot of Millennials needs a snack-filled break room.

If you happen to notice a lot of Baby Boomers in the break room, be extra sure there are plenty of snacks. Because when it comes to snacking — which is all the rage in the food industry today — Boomers eat ready-to-eat snack food 20 percent more often than Millennials, according to a daily tracking of U.S. consumers snacking habits by NPD group, a research company.

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Boomers and Millennials are the two largest population groups.

Millennials overtook Boomers in number in 2015, but both generational groups are large. And both groups love their snacks. Baby Boomers have 1,200 ready-to-eat snacking occasions per year on average, representing a total of 90.4 billion snacking occasions per year, according to NPD. Millennials have about 1,000 snacking occasions per year, representing a total 83.1 billion snacking occasions.

Those are some pretty serious numbers.

The reasons why each of these generational groups snack are as different as their ages. Millennials reach for what is often a grab-and-go snack because they’re hungry. Boomers snack because they don’t want to prepare a big meal, and they eat alone more often than other age groups. Both groups choose their snacks based on taste and craving.

Fruit, chocolate candy/candy bars, and potato chips rank as the top three snack picks for Millennials and Boomers alike.

After the top three choices, the two groups take different paths, with Boomers reaching for nuts and yogurt while Millennials prefer tortilla chips and cookies.

Although Boomers hold the top score over Millennials in the frequency of ready-to-eat snack food consumption, they don’t come close when it comes to the amount of snacks they eat. Youngsters, ages 2 to 17, consume an average of 1,500 snacks per year, outpacing all other age groups.

Healthier snack foods rank highest with kids, particularly with 2- to 5-year olds, ages where parents primarily control what they’re eating. Sweet and savory snacks start to creep up in rank with older kids.

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“Millennials gave us food trucks, food raves – what they want is a sense of community and they got that around food… They wake up every morning with the idea ‘you only live once’ (YOLO), so they are driving food trends and we need to be watching carefully what Millennials are eating, because that’s what is creating the trends,” said Phil Lempert, a food marketing and retail expert.

While it’s important to address the needs of all consumers, the Millennials bear special attention since their numbers are growing in New York City and throughout the country.

Jack Koerten, senior analyst at Euromonitor International, another researcher, says Millennials are approaching 44 million consumers in the U.S. and already have a lot of spending power.

“Snacking is an integral part of their week – they’re snacking and they’re snacking often,” Koerten said. Millennnials are even snacking during traditional meal times, unlike other age groups; 16.2% snack at dinner time while 16.6% snack at lunch.

While the differences between the two generations are interesting, snack availability is clearly important when catering to both Boomers and the Millennials in New York City and throughout the country.

For more information about healthy snack and beverage options for your breakroom, contact your New York City vending partner, Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671  to discuss your customized break room solution.