Mintel outlined three traits specific to Generation Z customers:
1. Health consciousness
Regardless of age, sugar is at the top of parents’ watchlists when it comes to what their kids eat and drink. In fact, 60% of parents with kids aged 12-17 and 55 per cent of parents with kids aged 18 or older in the household report saying “no” to their kids’ food and drink choices based on sugar content. But while sugar is a key concern for parents, just 11% of US food and drink launches aimed at children (ages 5-12) from June 2017-May 2018 had low, no or reduced sugar claims, according to Mintel's Global New Products Database.
Young consumers are increasingly growing health-conscious themselves. In fact, one quarter of teens aged 15-17 say they worry about staying healthy, with another 49 per cent agreeing that they think drinking soft drinks is unhealthy.
2. Interest in international foods
Today’s younger generations are diverse and seem to be cultivating an appreciation for international cuisine from a young age as 36 per cent of U.S. parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods.
In addition to interest in eating at international restaurants such as Indian, Middle Eastern or African, adult Gen Z consumers are also much more likely than older generations to find culinary inspiration from social media: 62 per cent of young adults aged 18-22 say they cook international cuisines at home after learning from social media, compared to 46 per cent of Millennials (aged 23-40) and 23 per cent of Generation X consumers (aged 41-52) who cook at home.
3. Interested in DIY due to digital savviness
Younger generations have grown up with the ability to thoroughly research their hobbies and interests online, resulting in 80 per cent of Gen Z consumers under age 18 saying these are just as important as their school work.
What’s more, roughly one-third of young customers believe that being creative is an important factor to being successful as an adult. This highlights an opportunity for food and drink brands to offer do-it-yourself experiences that help tweens, teens and young adults be creative and, eventually, confident in the kitchen.