How Gen Z Consumers Will Impact the Future Food Industry

They’re definitely in a category of their own.

November 08, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- After a decade or more of focusing largely on the needs and preferences, of Millennials, the food industry is turning its attention to Gen Z, according to Prepared Foods

Born in or after 1995, members of Gen Z are still young and are just starting to exercise their tremendous spending power. Gen Z is unique and, without question, the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Plus, this generation is the first one born into a tech-dominated world, having no recollection of a time without the internet.

According to a report by Packaged Facts, Gen Z will have a combined spending power that exceeds $500 billion, an amount greater than the GDP of several countries, including Belgium, Sweden and Poland. That represents an incredible market for the food industry to tap into.

Gen Z will participate in and drive some changes originally created by millennials. A new report from The NPD Group says Gen Z will continue to place strong emphasis on “real” and unadulterated foods, with freshness and purity playing a big role in their food expectations.

However, Gen Z will differ from millennials. While millennials skewed toward niche or boutique brands in place of large, national brands, Gen Z is showing far less of a sensitivity to brand size. Instead, they place a greater emphasis on the importance of brand values, ethics and the brand’s story, and how that matches with their own. Whether the brand is large or small seems to make little difference to members of Gen Z. Evidence suggests, however, that while they will not be anti-brand they are also brand agnostic, with brand loyalty playing little role in their decision-making process.