Children of Generation Z growing up in America today are living in a world adults are working hard to cope with some homes are cutting the cord (cable) so there is no traditional TV, political chaos abounds, and picking up dinner is more common that cooking at home according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
According to the study titled Understanding Tomorrow's Tastemakers Today, that explores the dining culture, attitudes and behaviors of more than 900 K-12 consumers, ranging in age from 8 to 18, toward traditional foodservice segments.
"Today's kids' expectations for dining outside the home are extremely high and will continue to increase as they become young adults," said Sharon Olson, executive director of Y-Pulse. "Certain trends, such as culinary adventure and healthfulness in food, typically accelerate as younger consumers grow older."
Food media, peers and the need for community heavily influence the current food culture in young consumers, according to the study. It identified five things food companies and restaurants need to know about Gen Z consumers' dining preferences:
1. They enjoy contradicting food trends. Young consumers enjoy culinary adventure and comfort foods with equal zeal. Seventy-one percent of those surveyed like trying new dishes and flavors at restaurants, while 91 percent of kids like ordering their favorite foods or foods that they are familiar with.
2. They want the feeling of community. Despite their love for smartphones and convenience, young consumers are not immune to the need for community feeling. Their choices in restaurants reflect this priority. Two-thirds (66 percent) surveyed like restaurants that offer shareable food and three-fourths (76 percent) of kids said they like to hang out with their friends at a restaurant.
3. They are heavily influenced by food media. Young consumers have a healthy appetite for food media consumption, as 56 percent said they like to watch the Food Network and 52 percent of these consumers said they like to watch "Tasty" style videos on Facebook and Instagram.
4. They are influenced by perceptions of healthy food. Much like their predecessors, Gen Z consumers care very much about eating healthy food and are influenced by perceptions of healthy eating. When asked about their perspective on eating healthy, 40 percent said that the snacks offered in school vending machines are healthy.
5. They crave independence in food. When it comes to the Gen Z consumer segment, kids are growing up with a strong sense of independence and decisions in food. Fifty-eight percent said they like to cook for themselves and 50 percent of them said they like to get snacks from the convenience store.
How are you preparing to sell food to Gen Z consumers? Outside eyes can drive inside results. Don’t react to customer migration. Become a proactive retailer and understand how the grocerant niche can help you drive top line sales and bottom line profits.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy. Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant