PhotoMost consumers between ages 18 and 34 were raised in an increasingly health-conscious U.S., and their eating habits reflect it. Now, new research suggests Millennials are reshaping how Americans eat.

Members of the generation often prefer to eat more ‘wholesome’ snacks instead of abiding by the three-meals-a-day standard, according to a recent survey commissioned by Welch’s Global Ingredients Group.

The survey found that 92% of Millennials eat a snack instead of having breakfast, lunch, or dinner at least once a week. Half of the respondents said they eat a snack over a meal about four times a week, and 26% percent said they do so up to seven times a week.

Customization

With a growing number of Millennials opting for snacks as meal replacements, munchies are expected to be both healthful and tasty. Portability is also key, since 39% of Millennials said they snack because they are too busy to sit down and eat a meal.

In addition to ditching the three-meals-a-day standard, Millennials have shown a preference for customization when it comes to meals and snacks.

A new report suggests companies aiming to target Millennials should consider incorporating salad bars and self-service hot food stations, since customized dining experiences tend to go over well with Millennials.

Mashups and bowls

Another culinary trend popular among Millennials: mashups. The latest issue of Packaged Facts' Culinary Trend Tracking Series notes that mashups are taking up where fusion left off, creating a growing opportunity for consumers to create the craziest mixed up food or beverage they can think of.

Finally, bowls may have an edge over plates and other eating vessels when it comes to winning the favor of Millennials. Members of the generation prefer bowls because they allow for creative expression and offer plenty of room for healthy ingredients such as rice, quinoa, açai, and noodles.


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