Friday, October 27, 2017

Fast Food Restaurants Battling Convenience Stores for Gen Z Dollars

Hungry, in a hurry, with a  cell phone in hand, Gen Z wants a meal, a snack, a drink and they want it in a full of flavor.  Technology is second nature to members too Gen Z; members of this emerging generation are at the high end only 20 years old.

The Gen Z members were born between 1995 and 2014 most still enjoy McDonald’s but now days don’t get the Happy Meal.  However they are happy with the offerings, pricing, and speed of service at McDonalds according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Gen Z unquestionably has and continues to enjoy 7-Eleven’s Slurpees and recent Grocerant ScoreCards findings reveal that Gen Z has a 96% brand recognition of both 7-Eleven and McDonalds. In addition both brands have a ‘strong’ favorable rating according to Johnson.  

Here is the point the convenience store sector had $34.5 billion in foodservice sales in 2016, growing at near to 11.3%.  Prepared food accounts for the lion's share of the pie at $23.4 billion. Hot dispensed beverages comes in second at $7.3 billion, according to Mintel research shared during the 2017
It might be that you are not yet paying enough attention to Gen Z but regular readers of this blog know that Gen Z eat more times a day that previous generations they tend to eat smaller meals, snacks, are happiest when they can mix and match flavors, meal components, personalizing a meal or drink. 

Taking a deeper dive into the demographics, Mintel found that the convenience store sector has a” growing number of "true loyalists" — those who are true fans of c-stores — are foodservice buyers.” Here is why the fast food sector should be concerned about a growing rate of customer migration from fast to c-stores.

1.       More than 90 percent of true loyalists say convenience store ready-to-eat food saves them time vs. roughly 75 percent of general c-store consumers.
2.       One in five consumers wants kiosk ordering in a c-store,
3.       Mintel's research found "Quality is the differentiator,"
4.       The store is clean.
5.       Food and drinks are made fresh.
6.       Food and drinks look appealing.
7.       Items are made with fresh ingredients.
8.       Items come in high-quality packaging.

The battle for share of stomach continues within the foodservice sector and Gen Z may be the generations to redefine who and where to find the foodservice leaders. Is your brand evolving fast enough?

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization? Email us at: or visit: for more information.

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