Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Retail Food Consumers Change are You Keeping Up with Gen Z


Consumers are dynamic not static. In case you did not know,  Gen Z consumers are the most ethnically diverse generation and they’re on track to be the most educated in U.S. history, but they aren’t terribly trusting—they can sense insincerity a mile away.  

Now, according to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z consists of people born between 1997 and 2012. The oldest of this generation are reaching 25 years of age, with many now out of college, getting married, and starting families.  They are the primary target market for retail food companies for the next 7 years at minimum. 

Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believes the more you know about them the better.  Recently Datassential shared some valuable information in their Midyear Trends Report.  The Foodservice Solutions® team found it valuable and think you will as well.  Below is a recap as published in trade magazines.

“In addition to reporting on unusual new products – such as a beer brewed with recycled hot dog water (!) and augmented reality contact lenses –Datassential shared several notable foodservice and retail movements in its recent Midyear Trends Report. According to the data firm’s information and analysis, consumers’ behavior in 2022 reflects their concern about prices, their interest in unique items and their embrace of technology in learning about and buying goods and services.

In general, the marketplace is in somewhat of a state of flux. “There was an idea that everyone would rush back to restaurants, but at the same time, you see higher prices and a possible looming recession, so I think everyone is just confused about where consumers will go in the future,” observed Mike Kostyo, Datassential’s trendologist and senior managing editor on the market intelligence team. 

According to Kostyo, the latest insights reveal that the younger age demographic of Gen Z is displaying its unique purchasing power at the halfway point of this year. “Gen Z is more willing to do everything in the future,” he noted.

To that end, Gen Z is more willing than other age groups to visit quick service restaurants and even fine dining restaurants. Compared to Millennial, Gen X and Boomer consumers, Gen Z customers are also more likely to order third-party delivery; 26% of them plan to buy more items from such delivery services, versus 14% of Millennials, 8% of Gen Xers and 4% of Boomers.

When it comes to retail, consumers are seeking to save money at a time of spiking inflation. Datassential found that 21% of consumers plan to visit large discount stores in the future. Breaking it down by age, 40% of Gen Z agree with that sentiment, compared to 22% of Millennials, 18% of Gen Xers and 12% of Boomers. The majority – 66% of all respondents – said they will visit discount stores the same amount in the near future, while less than 10% across all age groups report that they will visit less often.

There are other opportunities with consumers of all ages to leverage technologies across the food and beverage industry, the report shows. “One of the things we found was that 70% of consumers who have used a QR code like the experience. People have pretty good experiences with QR codes and they probably are not going away anytime soon. So, what do we do with them and how do we improve them even more?” asked Kostyo.

Datassential’s Midyear Trends Report also spotlighted menu winners. Items to on the consumable hot list include “Ranch Water,” ready-to-drink cocktails made with tequila, lime and Topo Chico; High Noon RTD seltzer; the Mexican dish of birria; and the purple sweet potato known as ube, among others. In addition, researchers identified several trend movers across foodservice and retail sectors, including dessert hummus and egg bites.”

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 

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