PART 3: Gen-Z and Food
As part of an ongoing research project into trends, our intern from High Point University in NC, Gianni Pellegrini, has written a series of articles, with this being the 3rd in the series.
Generation Z is all about authenticity and true nature, what about products from stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joes? You would think that Gen-Z stays away from large corporations when it comes to necessities like food, but it turns out that some offer the best experience for their liking. By giving the stores a more “natural” feel inside and targeting people who eat healthy, they don’t have to brag about their food being organic or fresh. This is important to Gen-Z because product transparency is one of their biggest values when shopping for food, as they want to know exactly what they’re putting into their bodies. “This behavior is correlated with Gen Z’s early technology use,” suggests Melissa Abbott, VP of culinary insights at The Hartman Group, and that is because they are so used to being able to look anything up on the Internet. This means that there isn’t a question without an answer and they won’t eat a product without knowing its ingredients’ origins.
Following the trend of authenticity, Gen-Z sees food as a way to express culture and who they are while staying true to their values. With this generation being one of the most ethnically diverse, they pay close attention to the authenticity of the food. On the other hand, they also made a large impact on fusion cuisine, or combining two styles of cooking to create something unique. This seems like it would go against Gen-Z’s love of culture, but fusion cuisine offers a different experience than one would find in a single-culture restaurant. It provides them with an opportunity to show their love for multiple cultures while keeping equality in mind, possibly even boosting their social status.
Gen Z are those born in and after 1996.