IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Millennial Food Purchase Decisions Compare to Previous Generations


  • Kuhns, Annemarie
  • Saksena, Michelle


Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have captured the attention of researchers, media, and the food industry alike, as their tastes and preferences are increasingly shaping what is being purchased at the grocery store. Market analysis has shown that this generation is demanding healthier and fresher items and spending fewer of their food expenditures at restaurants. However, to our knowledge, no research has specifically examined how millennials’ purchasing decisions differ after controlling for a robust set of demographic and socioeconomic (SES) variables. The goal of our research is to investigate whether the purchasing decisions of millennial households differ significantly from the rest of the population, looking both at the healthfulness of food purchases as well as the shopping environment used to purchase food-at-home. Overall, our study finds that being a millennial had a small and positive effect on diet quality when we measure diet quality as the deviation from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, once we correct for overconsumption of healthy foods and underconsumption of unhealthy foods, this difference disappears suggesting that millennials are better at complying to the recommended guidelines.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhns, Annemarie & Saksena, Michelle, 2016. "How Millennial Food Purchase Decisions Compare to Previous Generations," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235907, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:235907
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.235907

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:235907. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.