They’ve never known a world without instant digital access. They prefer to connect via text rather than in-person. And getting their first mobile phone is a huge life event. But beyond all that, they do have something that businesses should pay attention to…their purchasing power is estimated at $250 billion1.

Born in the mid-1990’s through 2015, Generation Z now comprise 26% of the population. They are the most ethnically diverse of all American generations, they’re passionate about local and global issues, and they love sharing their experiences – including their dining experiences – on social media.

So what do they value when it comes to dining? They demand healthy, good quality food, and they educate themselves on what they’re eating, paying attention to nutrients and calories. Organic is a priority for Gen Z, as are “real” ingredients with a functional benefit: they prefer nut milk over dairy, honey instead of sugar, and cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips. They seek out new, trendy flavors including New Asian, Indian Spice, and Middle Eastern. And they prefer to customize meals to meet their needs.

Beyond the food itself, GenZers desire a digital experience when dining out, expecting free Wi-Fi and cashier-less payment. They’re also a very visual generation, preferring imagery in communication and in small formats. Businesses will do well to find a way to get their message across using visuals to grab their attention quickly.

Bottom line…Generation Z is savvy, knowledgeable, and they know what they want. Understanding and catering to this new generation of influencers is imperative for business in the near and long term.


Sources: CCD Innovation Study, NPD Group, Inc, Hayes Dayle, Trifecta

1 (Source: IBM Institute for Business Value global survey)

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