The Youth Influence on Food

 

Millennials (Generation Y) and post-millennials (Generation Z) total over 150 million in the United States. That number approaches nearly half of the country’s total population.

The impact that these generations have on the food industry is immense and only gets bigger as their buying power increases. Retail bakeries will need to pay attention to these groups, because they will drive food trends.

Therefore, demographics can be an indicator of their preferences and where those preferences are headed. Here are some important pieces of data about millennials and post-millennials, courtesy of CSM Bakery Solutions.

Millennials

  • In 2015, millennials surpassed Boomers and Gen Xers in size, with 1 in 3 American workers now being a millennial.
  • Millennials tend to be more active in breakfast and lunch occasions vs. other generations.
  • 50% of millennials would visit foodservice establishments more often if they provided greater ability to customize, and 51% would visit more often if an establishment offered new/innovative flavors.
  • Millennials are sharing their food experiences, with 39% telling family or friends, 12% taking a picture or sharing, 11% commenting through social media, and 8% posting a review.
  • Almost 20% of food ordered by millennials is via delivery.

Post-Millennials

  • 68% of Gen Z customers use foodservice at least once a week.
  • Consumers under 24 years old make up a third of the population and an estimated 38% of sweet bakery consumption representing a substantial source of bakery business.
  • Gen Z is multicultural and wants fresh food – they want exposure to fresh, healthy, and adventurous food.
  • Gen Z expects food experiences to be engaging, interactive, and customizable.

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These two generations value snacking, as they snack more than any other generation. They also value factors such as convenience and health, which leaves many retailers with the task of figuring out this influential demographic.