Value expectations differ, depending on the age of the consumer and type of venue snacks are purchased from, according to a new study by Culinary Visions Panel. 

1,314 consumers, including Millennials ages 19 to 36 and Baby Boomers ages 49 to 67, were asked about their snacking behavior and preferences when they eat away from home.  The foodservice venues studied include: quick service; fast casual; casual dining; convenience store; supermarket deli; supermarket bakery; drug store; cafeteria at workplace and cafeteria at school.


Aside from snacking at home, the majority of consumers surveyed are most likely to seek out snacks at both quick service restaurants and convenience stores. Millennials, however, are significantly more likely to purchase snack items in quick service restaurants, convenience stores, and drug stores than Baby Boomers.


Most consumers expect snacks away from home to cost between $1 and $3. The survey also reveals that consumers have different price expectations, depending on the venue.  Most expect to pay more for snacks in casual dining establishments as compared to quick service outlets, convenience stores and supermarket delis.  61% of Millennials and 41% of Baby Boomers expect to pay more than $5 for a snack in a casual dining restaurant.


A large number of consumers from both age groups reported purchasing snacks from quick service and casual dining restaurants within the last 30 days, yet Baby Boomers report they are purchasing snacks less often from casual dining restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores.

Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials report visiting convenience stores, supermarket delis, casual dining restaurants and quick service outlets more often in the past 12 months.


Sharon Olson, Executive Director of Culinary Visions Panels, says, “Snack purchases and expectations vary by foodservice venue, and there are benefits to developing unique marketing strategies based on the segment.”


While approximately half of consumers surveyed have purchased the same amount of snacks at supermarket delis and convenience stores this year as compared with last year, the majority of these respondents also say they have cooked at home more often in the last year.