Each generation of consumers seems to elevate demands on food retailers. There are a set of common undercurrents including increased speed of service, delivery, bolder flavors, and foods with a ‘halo’ of better-for-you’ that have been and will continue to drive change in food retailing according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Since Generation Z will make up more than 40 percent of buying power by the year 2020 if you are not focusing on them now you should start soon according to Johnson. The generation after millennials, is Generation Z. Gen Z is made up of those born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Gen Z accounts for 25 percent of the U.S. population, making it a larger cohort than baby boomers or millennials.
The first thing that is different about this group is they like shopping in stores vs online. So I guess differentiation discovering what on the shelf. Gen Z, or Pivotals as consumer trends consultancy FutureCast also calls them, range in age from pre-tween to 21, and they already claim more than $40 billion in buying power.
Bharat Rupani, president of Interactions, which recently released its Next Generation of Retail study."Generation Z is constantly connected to technology, which retailers may find intimidating to overcome when it comes to in-store engagement. However, our study found that this group is longing for retailers to provide an engaging in-store experience. In fact, when given the choice, the majority prefer shopping in-store vs. online,"
The Interactions study continued finding that Gen Z consumers are very price-conscious and prefer to spend money on experiences vs. material items, and they are not brand loyal (81 percent are willing to switch from their favorite brand if they find a similar product at a higher quality).
Convenience Store News polled various retail, consumer and convenience industry experts and here’s what they had to say how retailers could best garner Gen Z consumers:
1. First off, treat this consumer group like valued customers despite their young age. Go after low-hanging fruit like free Wi-Fi and clerks who greet them.
2. Creating engaging in-store experiences are a good way to hook Gen Z. Think along the lines of snacks they can’t find anywhere else.
3. Bolster your business with Gen Z by creating newsworthy pop-culture events around a wide variety of ethnic and international foods; Gen Z is a very diverse group.
4. Leverage technology in ways that appeal to Gen Z, such as the availability of Apple Pay at the counter. The idea is to create a journey whereby they can get in and out without looking up much from their phones.
5. Promote and advertise through social media; work with "influencers" as part of the strategy. Don't waste time on TV advertising as they're not really watching.
6. Present the very best mobile shopping experience possible; pay attention to content and image guidelines from outsourced professionals, if necessary.
7. Brace yourself and your store for 2020 when the Zs are predicted to be the driving force of the consumer world.
In a digital world retail foodservice discovery at each store is important to Gen Z. For the retailer to win Johnson believes that retailers need to make the inside of each store digitally inclusive, interactive, and participatory.
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