CHICAGO — With the most ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history just beginning to reach adulthood, Gen Z is already putting its mark on America’s eating habits. The latest Eggsaminer product development e-resource from the American Egg Board chronicles this young generation in a new white paper, “Gen Z: A New Generation to Feed.” It explores this generation’s preferences and identifies food and beverage market opportunities.
Gen Z, those between eight and 23 years old, total more than a quarter (26%) of the American population. Digital natives, Gen Z is 48% non-Caucasian and has an estimated purchasing power of between $29 billon and $143 billion. “The preferences of this generation are likely to influence the food and beverage segment for decades to come,” says Elisa Maloberti, the American Egg Board’s director of egg product marketing. “Their ethnic diversity and interest and affinity for global flavors are already asserting influence in the food and beverage market. And this will only grow as more of Gen Z leaves home and makes all their own food choices.”
One of the most profound influences of Gen Z is their desire to know more about the food they eat – where and how is it grown, how is it processed and how it impacts the planet. Often referred to as unintentional foodies, Gen Z is not as enamored as millennials with cooking, but they’re growing up eating sushi and ramen along with tacos and hummus. Gen Z is also eagerly embracing plant-based foods as part of a flexitarian lifestyle. They don’t eschew meat eating, but are open to going meatless more often when opportunities avail themselves. Plant-based eating is perceived as a healthier choice and one that is better for the planet.
Because of their multicultural background, Gen Z enjoys experiential dining, which often includes sharing and snacking. They like to share in-person and virtually in equal measure, although sharing over social media at times takes precedence over actually eating. In fact, Gen Z accounts for 75% of all Instagram users. This sharing behavior has been curtailed somewhat by the pandemic, but these inclinations will no doubt rise to the surface again when schools reopen and socializing normalizes. In the meantime, Gen Z continues to prefer snacking over eating traditional meals three times a day.
For more information on this influential generation and its habits and preferences, download the Gen Z white paper at aeb.org/food-manufacturers/eggsaminer/spring-2020-eggsaminer.
About the American Egg Board (AEB)
Home of the Incredible Egg, the AEB is the U.S. egg industry’s national commodity marketing board. The AEB’s mission is to increase demand for eggs and egg products through research, education and promotion. The AEB’s Egg Nutrition Center is the country’s largest repository of egg nutrition research. The AEB is located in Chicago, Ill. For more, visit www.aeb.org.