Younger Diners Pose Fast-food Challenge

Most consumers will tell you they prefer fresh, tasty, healthy food over processed, greasy, assembly line fare. Millennials, though, may be the first generation to back that up with their wallets.

Fast-food operators say they are getting increasing pressure from the demographic — generally defined as 18 to 34 year olds — to boost the quality of menu items or risk losing millennials. At stake is more than $1 trillion in spending by the group to the fast-casual category, which includes chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

”Millennials have a renewed fascination with food,” said David Farmer, vice president for product strategy and development for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. “They grew up on food television and are more knowledgeable about ingredients. And social media has put a lot of attention on quality and customization.”

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