Millennials and Gen Zs are driving growth in vegetable consumption, but their parents – who likely taught them to eat their vegetables – don’t seem to be following their own advice.
Consumers under the age of 40 have increased their annual intake of fresh vegetables by 52% and frozen vegetables by 59% over the last decade, according to the NPD Group. On the other hand, consumers of the ages 60 and up have decreased their consumption of fresh vegetables by 30% and frozen vegetables by 4% over the same period.
The surging amount of fresh vegetable consumption stems from younger consumers’ shift toward fresh foods over the last 10 years, NPD said. Over the next several years, NPD forecasts fresh vegetable consumption to increase by 10% as Millennials and Gen Zs age into their heaviest vegetable consumption years.
The younger, more health-conscious consumers have resurrected the frozen vegetable category, NPD said. Frozen vegetable consumption, which was declining earlier this decade, is now on the rise and forecast to increase by 3% through 2024.
“Vegetable consumption among younger consumers is a reflection of their more health-conscious eating behaviors,” said David Portalatin, vice-president and food industry analyst at NPD Group. “Our research shows that their attitudes about eating vegetables will not shift as they age and go through their life stages. Their parents and grandparents, however, may need a reminder from them to eat their vegetables.”