Breakfast and fresh food that requires some preparation register high in preference rankings for the post-millennial generation, according to NPD research. The report, The Future of Eating: Who's Eating What in 2018?, stresses that today's youngsters will be tomorrow's trendsetters when it comes to eating styles. Furthermore, as a large percentage of Generation Z (those born in, or since 1990) are of Hispanic origin, their ethnicity will also have a significant impact on what consumers buy and eat.
Businessweek translated all this into an eye-catching headline — "Generation Salad." USA Today focused on breakfast, highlighting study findings that cooked breakfasts, as opposed to ready-to-eat cereals, could have a significant impact on grocery shelves in the future. Gen Z is "adopting" Millennials' food preferences while taking them "to an even greater degree," according to the article.
NPD has taken into account the ways in which age changes behavior as well as "population distribution and trend momentum." A shift in influence from older to younger people, although unsurprising in itself, will result in an inclination towards "more involvement, not necessarily more complexity, in preparing their food and meals, particularly at breakfast." Additives are another example of how "the younger generations want to have a say in the final output of their prepared foods."
Of Gen Z, Millennials and Hispanics, NPD analyst Darren Seifer advised that "this is a pivotal time for manufacturers and retailers to gain their favor as many of their habits are being formed now. Most are still at a life stage when their behaviors are flexible and they are receptive."
Elsewhere, Businessweek referenced the Intelligence Group's conclusions that Millennials are frugal, making only "necessary" purchases therefore needing different marketing approaches. If Gen Z follows this pattern as well, the challenge of enticing them will be even more challenging.
How reliable are predictions about generational shopping patterns?