Tastes of Different Age Groups

The food service operative Santa Maria issued an interesting report last week with the complex title of 'Age Cohort Report 2015'. It is a report into the evolving tastes of different age groups and its effects on the eating out market.


Useful? Well, there is no getting away from it, we are not getting any younger and by 2025, 23% of the world's population will be over 65. This ageing demographic will have significant implications for the eating out industry, with a growth in ‘seniors’ combined with declines in numbers of younger diners. Restaurants and hotels who don’t account for this risk losing out. So, to help operators tap into the opportunity, Santa Maria spoke to 2,000 people across four different generations about what flavours make them tick and how that changes with age. Here’s a round-up of what they found.


Their report identifies four 'generations of taste buds'
  1. Millennials - born between 1980 and 2000 (Aged 18 to 34). They’ve eaten a lot. Some of it a bit unusual. All of it with a sense of adventure. And they’re eating everywhere… at home, at work, out and about. Especially food that’s sweet, salty or sour.
  2. Generation X - born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s (Aged 35 to 49).  Their comfort zone is way out there. They’ll try anything. And they love, love, love strong and savoury flavours.
  3. Baby Boomers - born between 1950 and 1964 (Aged 50 to 64). This is a savoury strong-hold. They love a medium/hot curry, and are surprisingly more adventurous with hot and spicy food than any other generation.
  4. War Babies - born before 1950 (Aged 65+).  Lovers of classic favourites, with a home-cooking repertoire that hasn’t changed for decades. Not fans of salty and sour and wary of whether hot/spicy food will agree with them! Most likely to eat in their favourite local pub or independent restaurant.  
Did You Know?

  • Millennials eat 3 Times more than War Babies
  • 28% of Millenials like to try something new when eating out.
  • 47% more Millennials are put off trying something new because of cost.
  • 32% of people like spicy food more now than they did 3 years ago.
  • 60% of War Babies say menu description is the number one way to encourage them to try something new.

The report say, 'It is clear with age, consumers become more aware of what they like and less likely to choose new dishes. So, understanding the prompts and flavour preferences is going to become more important if restaurants, bars and hotels are to keep consumers happy - now and in the future.''

For more of the insight behind this report, you can email enquiries@santamariafoodservice.com

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