Cravings, cost control and minimal preparation time are key points that Millennials use to choose foods, reports The NPD Group in its recent National Eating Trends report.

According to the study, convenience and budget are key factors for Millennials when it comes to making food choices. Frozen products and other convenience-oriented foods that are relatively economical also remain as key factors.

The NPD Group report indicates this demographic group is more inclined to purchase frozen entrees and other portable, shelf-stable, easy-to-fix items than other age groups. As with most of these food offerings, there is usually little opportunity for leftovers, which correlates to the fairly low rate of leftover usage. The data reveals a typical Millennial has 68 meals a year that contain a leftover item, but adults in their 30s to early 40s are using leftovers in 82 meals a year.  One-third of the group also favors mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart as their primary food store, compared with 23% for all adults.

“Cost concern is particularly important to this age group since they have been among the hardest hit by the recession," said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst for The NPD Group, headquartered in Port Washington, N.Y. “The unemployment rate for adults under 30 was 19.5% for the second quarter of 2010, a rate more than double the 9.5% seen for the total workforce."