According to a new poll from the BBC, Britain’s 16 to 24-year-olds spend more on food than any other age group, thanks to splurges on takeaways and eating out.
We all know that the so-called Millennial generation—those born from roughly 1980 onwards juggling Drake crushes and fragmented career paths; helicopter parents and student debt—have some pretty weird tastes when it comes to food. Sure, we'll happily wait for an hour in line to eat at that new Vietnamese barbecue place but we're not above face-planting cornershop nachos and plastic cheese, either.
But this schizophrenic attitude towards eating is taking its toll on Millennial bank accounts, something your mum has probably already told you but is now painfully verified by new research from the BBC's Good Food magazine.
According to a recent poll carried out by the magazine, Britain's 16 to 24-year-olds spend more on food than any other age group, thanks to splurges on takeaways and eating out.
Despite earning the least, people in this age group were found to spend an average of £19.61 a week on takeaways, compared with the adult average of £11.31 and a frugal £3.20 for over-65s. All those long brunches and coffee dates are also adding up: 16 to 24-year-olds spend £28.26 eating in cafes and restaurants per week, compared to the adult amount of £17.22.
Overall, the poll found that British Millennials spend an average of £63.65 a week on food, compared with the typical spend for all adults of £57.30.
This reliance on fast food may have something to do with young people's lack of cooking skills (which most are totally chill about, by the way). The Good Food poll found that the average 16 to 24-year-old knows how to make four recipes, compared with six recipes for all adults. When your options are pasta, macaroni cheese, toast, and, um, pasta, a quick Domino's does start to sound pretty tempting.
Speaking to The Independent, children's food campaigner and co-founder of health-orientated fast food chain Leon Henry Dimbleby stressed the importance of encouraging young people to cook: "We've got two generations now where primary cooking skills have been lost. Learning to cook is so important. It's very expensive if you don't learn to feed yourself but it can also be a one-way ticket to a life plagued by diabetes and obesity."
Dimbleby may be alarmed by Britain's legions of kitchen-shy Millennials, but according to Good Food editorial director Christine Hayes, we shouldn't be so quick to judge.
"To be able to cook four recipes from scratch isn't too bad if you're 16 to 24 because some may not have left home. I'm actually quite impressed. There are so many other things vying for our time, especially at that age, that being able to cook that much isn't that bad," she told The Independent.
See? There's no shame in funnelling half of your week's food budget into a Just Eat account, you've got a lot of other stuff to deal with rn.