Top 5 gen Z food and beverage trends: What businesses need to know

    Starting a business is hard, but continuing and expanding a business is even harder. This fact is obvious for every entrepreneur in any industry.  Therefore, businesses have to define the next target consumer’s needs and desires to develop constantly.

    Speaking of that, this article topic is about Top 5 gen Z food and beverage trends: What businesses need to know to answer every question about gen z. 

    What does gen z look like? 

    gen z food and beverage trends - Gen z is the next generation that will drive the consumer behaviorsGen z is the next generation that will drive the consumer behaviors

    • Years of birth: 1997 to 2012.
    • Age: 9 to 24 years
    • Other names: iGeneration, Post-Millennials, Homeland Generation.
    • Generation volume: 68 million
    • Consumption of media: The typical Gen Zer obtained their first mobile phone at 10.3 years. Many of them grew up with their parents’ smartphones or iPads. They have grown and developed in a hyper-connected environment, and their primary mode of communication is the smartphone. They spend an average of 3 hours every day on their mobile device.
    • Banking Habits: Having witnessed the struggles of Millennials, this generation has taken a more economically conservative stance. They desire to avoid debt and value accounts or services that help them do so. Their first focus is debit cards, followed by mobile banking.
    • Shaping Events: Smartphones, social media, never knowing a nation, not being at war, and witnessing their parents’ financial troubles (Gen X).
    • What’s next on the financial horizon for Generation Z: Studying personal finance. They are eager for financial education and open savings accounts at younger ages than previous generations.
    • Socially and politically educated: Gen Z is aware of critical social and political issues and aspires to make a difference in the world.

    How do gen z influence the food and beverage industry in the following years?

    gen z food and beverage trends - 65% of generation z prefers a more "plant-forward" diet.65% of generation z prefers a more “plant-forward” diet.

    • Every member of Generation Z owns a smartphone. They are referred to as the iGeneration. Almost 90% of people use Snapchat or Instagram at least once a day.
    • Instagram users in Generation Z account for 75% of all users!
    • They have sway over $600 billion in family expenditures, in addition to their considerable purchasing power.
    • Twenty-five percent of teenagers (aged 15-17) are concerned about their health, and another 49 percent believe that consuming soda is unhealthy.
    • Sixty-one percent of Gen Zers conduct weekly product research on their mobile phones.
    • Food is Gen Z’s main spending priority, accounting for 23% of their budget.
    • Sixty-five percent of Generation Z prefers a more “plant-forward” diet.
    • The following are the top five interests of Generation Z: Music (69%) / Films & Cinema (61% ) / Food & Drink (58% ) / Gaming (54% ) / Technology (53 percent )
    • 46 percent of special deals sent through email

    Generation Z, the food business, is about to be shaken up, a significant force. According to Mintel’s recent study, the group has the potential to reset expectations for health and wellbeing, expand the reach of foreign food, and boost kitchen innovation. 

    They like brands that are open, engaged, and responsible. “Generation Z grew up in a gastronomic culture. They are growing up with a strong grasp of the importance of food and its role in leading a fulfilling life. 

    They have the potential to be the most impactful generation on consumers’ eating and drinking habits that we’ve ever seen,” said David Portalatin, food industry advisor for NPD.

    Top 5 food and beverage trends for gen z

    Flavor Preferences

    gen z food and beverage trends - Generation Z appreciates experimenting with new thingsGeneration Z appreciates experimenting with new things

    Generation Z is experimental and adventurous in terms of flavor and culinary preferences. According to the Food Institute, younger generations, such as Generation Z, like experimenting with foreign tastes found in Indian, Middle Eastern, and African cuisines. Gen Z is eager to test new products and services. 

    In reality, people frequently utilize social media and the internet to find and share fresh foods and beverages. With Generation Z accounting for 75% of Instagram users, companies may benefit by developing distinctive and aesthetically beautiful dishes that Generation Z will want to share with their followers.

    While Generation Z appreciates experimenting with new drinks, classics that evoke comfort and nostalgia have grown popular during the epidemic. As they spent more time at home, food and beverage were a source of consolation for these customers during a period of uncertainty (and boredom).

    Health Drivers

    Prioritizing health and wellbeing has become an essential aspect of Generation Z's purchasing patternsPrioritizing health and wellbeing has become an essential aspect of Generation Z’s purchasing patterns

    Prioritizing health and well-being has become an essential aspect of generation Z’s purchasing patterns. Therefore, this is one of the gen Z food and beverage trends that need to be mentioned According to a Tufts Nutrition Report, over half (41%) of Gen Z would pay extra for foods they consider to be healthier, compared to 32% of millennials. 

    Despite their early age, this generation has grown highly health-conscious and is interested in functional beverages that will improve their everyday lives and keep them healthy in the long run.

    • Currently, 20% of Gen Z consumers consume items that claim to have calming/relaxing properties.
    • 20% eat those having focus-enhancing properties.
    • 15% ingest those having beauty-enhancing properties.

    Consumers in Generation Z are also interested in incorporating more plant-based products into their diet. They prefer fresh and healthy meals for a more nutritious diet (Produce Blue Book), and they frequently pick vegetarian products for their purported health advantages or more beneficial environmental implications.

    • 65% of generation z prefers a more “plant-forward” diet.
    • According to Aramark research, 79 % of people eat vegetarian meals once or twice a week. – Food and Nutrition Institute

    Nestlé Pure Life + Revive Lemon Still Water Beverage with Magnesium, for example, is touted to help relieve exhaustion and fatigue while also giving an easy method to receive 35% of your daily magnesium. Its lemon flavor is supposed to be refreshing. 

    Recommended reading: 13 tips on how to start a health drink business

    Moral Mission

    soda industry trends - Gen z cares a lot about environmental problemsGen z cares a lot about environmental problems

    While older Gen Z customers in college or just beginning out in the job may be more financially self-sufficient, younger consumers continue to rely on their parents for food and beverage expenditures. Regardless, 

    Gen Z customers want to make a difference in the environment through their own (or their parents) shopping habits. They are learning about how they can make a difference and are drawn to companies that identify social, environmental, and ethical issues that they care about, such as sustainability and support for local and black-owned, and local businesses.

    Convenience and Speed

    Between employment, education, and other commitments, Gen Z is frequently on the go. Even though they’ve spent more time at home in recent months, their hectic temperament hasn’t altered. 

    Moreover, although some experimented with their cooking skills throughout the epidemic, others sought convenience in fast-service cuisine and product debuts.

    Gen Z wants speed and convenience in their food and beverage purchases, from pre-made meal packages to individually wrapped snacks, smartphone delivery, and curbside pickup. While COVID-19 has heightened these purchase decisions, these tendencies are expected to continue post-pandemic.

    Convenience is also essential to Gen Z, with up to 40% identifying it as an important feature in the meals they buy and prepare. According to the American Egg Board poll, the microwave and the stove are the most often utilized appliances for making meals and snacks.” – Food and Nutrition Institute.

    For example, Tyson Air Fried Chicken Breast Strips are a thoroughly cooked boneless, skinless breaded product made from rib meat and white flesh chicken. The original product does not require an air fryer and may be baked to crisp perfection in the oven.

    In a social media world 

     Brands have capitalized on Gen Z's use of social media by teaming with prominent celebritiesBrands have capitalized on Gen Z’s use of social media by teaming with prominent celebrities

    The pandemic placed a greater focus on Gen Z’s innate The epidemic emphasized Gen Z’s intrinsic digital intelligence, leading to creativity in new recipes and tastes. TikTok’s growing popularity has resulted in new at-home dishes such as Dalogna (or whipped) coffee, pancake cereal, and the latest craze, “nature’s cereal,” which combines fruits with coconut water and ice.

    Brands have capitalized on Gen Z’s use of social media by teaming with prominent celebrities and up-and-coming social media influencers to entice them with fresh and distinctive goods. Brands establish unique collaborations that Gen Z considers worthy of posting on their social media channels by connecting with their younger consumers.

    Take, for example, Travis Scott and McDonalds.

    McDonald’s collaborated with artist Travis Scott to develop “The Travis Scott Meal,” a limited-edition meal that includes a quarter-pounder with lettuce, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard, and bacon, fries with barbeque sauce, and a sprite.

    Wrap up

    Gen Z is busy and increasing customers looking for convenient, healthful, ethical, and “insta-worthy” goods that taste wonderful — a fun fact. Among gen z food and beverage trends, you can find the market gap anywhere. 

    If you find this topic interesting and helpful, you can learn more about other topics at Tan Do blog any time!

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    Lilian Nguyen
    Hi! I'm Lilian Nguyen. I'm an expert in OEM, ODM, private label beverage industry with 8 years of experience. I believe that it is crucial for companies to focus on the benefits which the product provides to their target customer and what does it mean to the community. When i am not working, i run a blog on making healthy snacks & drinks and join in a hiking club. I'm an expert in the beverage industry invited by Tan Do Beverage to work. I'm in charge of publishing articles, research articles on the beverage industry or anything healthy to help readers have a better view of what they are looking to do, prepare to do or are doing related to the beverage industry. Email:

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