Quality desserts attract younger generations, according to a 2018 report conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics for The Hershey Company. In fact, Gen Z and millennial consumers are dessert-obsessed and rank dessert as a top consideration when deciding where to go for food.

Highlights from the research include:

• 87% think about eating dessert one or more times a day

• 76% think dessert is essential to special occasions

• 47% have a restaurant they frequent just for dessert  

• 55% of Gen Z and 54% of millennials are more likely to order an item branded ingredients they recognize

Social media plays a significant role in getting the attention of Gen Z consumers who respond to ads along with sharing and “liking” desserts through multiple platforms. Gen Z loves to share its sweet tooth on social media, and desserts are the No.1 food they photograph.

In fact, 46% have a picture of a dessert on their phone right now. Ads featuring branded desserts get their attention as do food videos on YouTube and photos on Instagram and Snapchat.

Further, today’s younger generations are the most diverse in US history and parents are raising their children to have broader palates.

Gen Z seems to be cultivating an appreciation for international cuisine from a young age, as 36% of US parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods, according to Mintel research.

Gen Z consumers are driving consumption of more emerging international food and drink. In addition to interest in eating at international restaurants such as Indian (36%), Middle Eastern (38%) and African (27%), adult Gen Z consumers are also much more likely than other generations to find culinary inspiration from social media.

“Generation Z is America’s most diverse generation yet. With exposure to international foods starting at an early age, whether in restaurants or at home, Generation Z is more likely to be open to the latest international food trend or innovative fusion creation. While restaurants remain the most common points of discovery for international cuisine, younger consumers’ exposure to a range of cuisine types creates opportunities for brands to offer more authentic and hybrid flavors,” says Jenny Zegler, associate director for Mintel Food & Drink.