- Millennials' meat demand is higher than that of baby boomers, spending more money and time on purchasing and preparing it, according to a survey by Midan Marketing.
- Meat consumption among millennials is not stable, however. According to the survey, 67% had eaten the same amount of meat as the year before, while 79% of baby boomers reported no change in consumption. Of millennials, 11% had eaten more meat in the previous 12 months, but 22% had eaten less.
- More baby boomers purchase fresh or unprepared meat — 78% — as opposed to millennials, only 56% of whom bought it. Millennials spend 44% of their meat budget on prepared varieties.
With studies showing that U.S. per capita meat consumption increased by almost 5% in 2015 — the largest jump in 40 years — it is not surprising that millennials are jumping on the animal protein train. And with the baby boomer market for meat waning, it's good news for producers that millennials are picking up the slack. According to the study, millennials spend $162 on meat each month, while baby boomers only spend $93. And those costs could be sustainable or even increase. More than half of millennials — 55% — said they are willing to pay more for high-quality ingredients.
However, these results reinforce the importance of being convenient. Millennials are more likely to decrease their meat consumption, so products that they can prepare quickly are of paramount importance. Opportunity to keep millennials as customers lies in this segment. According to USDA, about half of the average American food budget is spent on convenient foods. Ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals and snacks made up 26% of the average food budget between 1999 and 2000.
Producers like Tyson are capitalizing on this trend. In-store dining and take-out of prepared foods from grocery stores has increased by almost 30% since 2008, according to a recent NPD report.
Convenient preparations for raw, unprepared meat also can capture the millennial market. A higher percentage of millennials said they enjoy trying new meat recipes—62%, versus 49% of baby boomers.
However, everything doesn't need to be made simple. More than three-quarters of millennials surveyed said they "feel a sense of accomplishment" when they prepare a complex dish.