Price, Peers and Palate: The 3 Factors That Motivate Gen Y’s Food Choices

Food. We all love it, but what motivates us to eat the way we do is more complicated than you may think.


Food. We all love it, but what motivates us to eat the way we do is more complicated than you may think.

While a new study shows that nearly 1 in 2 (46%) of Australia’s youngest adults (18-24s) choose food based on taste, this generation doesn’t allow its cravings to direct all of its food choices. In fact, there are many factors that Gen Y’s are forced to – and choose to – consider when purchasing food, eating out, or ordering in.

The survey of 1922 Australian adults under 25 by, an online takeaway ordering platform popular with young Australians, identified that enjoyment and taste wins out for 46 per cent of respondents, and price is only considered first in the decision-making of just 35 per cent of respondents. 

According to the data, 39 per cent of our Millennials have difficulty being able to afford proteins such as seafood and meat, and 53 per cent struggle to afford wholefoods. When they’re on the run, 45 per cent said they wouldn’t pay more than $20 per person for a takeaway meal. 

Gen Y are aware about the Paleo diet, popularised by celebrities and models, but surprisingly, 72 per cent admitted they wouldn’t adopt the diet. In contrast, 53 per cent would consider foregoing highly processed carbohydrates such as puffed rice or wheat flake cereals if it improved their health.  

“It’s interesting that young Australians are inspired by, and follow the lives of, Insta-famous people online, yet are selective about which lifestyle habits they follow,” said EatNow spokesperson Kim Russell.  “We see that young Australians are struggling to afford some proteins and wholefoods, which suggests that price is clearly one of the motivations behind Gen Y’s not adopting the diet trend. The fact that more than half are willing to forego highly processed carbs shows that they are open to making dietary changes, it just has to be realistic for their income level and lifestyle.” 

While though they are often seen out in their activewear looking fit and fabulous, it’s surprising that 69 per cent of Gen Y’s say they don’t judge the eating habits of their peers, and that the people they live with – other than their parents – most influence the food decisions they make as individuals (45%).

The data also revealed that young Aussies are mostly motivated to choose pre-made meals because it’s convenient for someone to do the cooking for them (by 39% of respondents). Craving a meal they couldn’t cook themselves is the second biggest motivation for ordering in – by 25% of respondents. Reasons such as wanting to treat themselves (17%) and saving time (16%) were relatively low in motivating under 25s to order-in. 

Now if only the delicious goodies from Adelaide’s food trucks got delivered…

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