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NPD: Millennials Dine Out Less

Posted On: 11/8/2012

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TAGS: vending, food service, restaurant trends, Millennials, 18 -to-34-year-olds, out-of-work Millennials, meal trends, eating out trend, NPD Group report, restaurant industry, Harry Balzer

PORT WASHINGTON, NY -- Millennials are cutting back on eating out in response to the economic downturn, according to a new report by NPD Group. The trend marks the first time such behavior has been seen among 18 -to-34-year-olds, who have always frequented restaurants more than other age groups.

NPD's nationwide survey of 2,400 Millennials showed them eating out 202 times on average this year, versus 252 times in 2007. The research firm attributes the shift to the unusually high unemployment rate among this age group, which stood at 10.8% last month. Many out-of-work Millennials who had been living on their own have since been forced to return home to their parents, which could mean more home-cooked meals.

"This is a shift of biblical proportions for the restaurant industry," says Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at researcher NPD Group. "I've done this for 35 years, and we could always count on this age group as the biggest restaurant users. But not the last five years ... the load of the recession has hit them harder than anyone else."

Meanwhile, adults 35 to 49 and those over 50 are projected to eat out more than Millennials, according to NPD.