According to Piper Sandler, Generation Z consumers prefer organic or natural foods without additives. Generation Z spends most of their disposable income on dining out, making it the most important spending category for young people today. At 40%, dining out tops the major spending categories of Generation Z, such as fashion with 35% or outdoor activities with 18%. For 4 out of 5 members of Generation Z, buying food and drink is more than just a means of livelihood: eating is also an opportunity to explore and connect with cultures from around the world.
If avocado toast became synonymous with the millennial generation, what food trends will their younger counterparts become known for? From dining out to grocery shopping and healthy food trends, delve into these brief ideas that explore Generation Z's relationship with food. Fast-food and quick-service restaurant chains win with this age group. More than 40% eat at fast-food restaurants more frequently, compared to just 26% of the general population (Gen Pop). They are also twice as likely to prefer fast and casual food chains, such as Panera Bread, and four times less likely to dine at independent or locally owned restaurants.
A quarter eat fast food at least once a week and a total of 68% eat fast food at least once a month. When it comes to choosing where to eat, it's not surprising that Generation Z is more likely than the general population to say that price and speed matter, as is the ambience of a restaurant. Emphasizing the importance of price, 70% of Gen Z members who buy fast food stopped ordering at a fast food restaurant last month because menu prices were higher than average. That compares with 59% of older adults.
Given the popularity of fast food among Generation Z, which brands are they leading? In a comparison of the nine major fast food chains in the U.S. UU. And if we take a look at four of the main pizza chains, we see that Domino's is king, with almost 60% popularity among Generation Z. Pizza Hut is in second place.
National restaurant brands tend to be viewed more favorably among Generation Z compared to the general population. Branding is also important when buying groceries. Thirty percent of adults in Generation Z say that the brand is more important to them than the price when buying food, which far exceeds the pop generation. Where are members of Generation Z most likely to buy food? These young adults have grocery retail preferences that are more diverse than the national average.
They are much less likely to shop at large regional supermarket chains, such as Kroger and Safeway. The most popular options are supercenter retailers (such as Target and Walmart) and specialty retailers (such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods) or cooperatives. Diet-related health trends are more prominent among Generation Z in other ways, such as drinking shakes and filtered water. Nearly two-thirds of Gen Z adults say they drink juices, nutritional shakes, or shakes at least once a week.
And they're half as likely as the pop generation to drink unfiltered tap water, opting instead for filtered water. While close to a quarter of them drink bottled water regularly, they are generally less likely than the general population to consume bottled water. It's clear that Generation Z is a generation with very diverse tastes. Consumer habits are likely to differ depending on demographics, such as region and income.
However, general trends are emerging that allow us to learn more about this generation, a generation that is more likely to value brands and health, but that is sensitive to price and convenience when choosing foods. Interest in gluten-free foods is trending among Generation Z consumers and QSR diners. Sign up for weekly information in your mailbox. Generation Z will promote climate-conscious eating and beverage behaviors as food becomes a fundamental tool for mitigating the climate crisis.
Generation Z also tends to believe that their personal choices about food are an important indicator when it comes to sustainability, and 50% describe that their individual choices about buying food and beverages have a “significant” or “moderate” impact on the environment. Food is fundamental to the identity of Generation Z; to say that food is important to young consumers is an understatement. .