Today, the focus of so many food and beverage marketers is how to engage in conversation with the millennial consumer. Of course this is completely understandable and obvious given their purchasing power while most are right smack dab in the midst of commencing their careers. Yet, executives are being warned to not to forget about Gen Z.

Gen. Z? Millennials? What is the difference?? Gen Z is a population featuring consumers born between 1997 and 2012. They also represent the first generation to completely grow up in the digital age. This sector is being defined by their resolve. “Gen. Z see windows where others see walls. They are not afraid to create those things that they want but cannot find”. Lynne Gillis, I.R.I.

Gen. Z makes up 25% of the Canadian population in the present, which makes them a larger sector than both boomers and millennials. In the next few years, that figure grows to 33%. Parents also note the influence this sector has on household purchases. Ninety-three percent (93%) of parents admit their children influence family and household purchases.

When it comes to the food and beverage industry, the majority of Gen Z view “clean eating” as a way to improve and sustain their quality of life.. They are also highly educated about what goes into their food and drinks. As they enter adulthood, the food and beverage industry will need to expect a greater emphasis on safety, an elevated demand for organic and non GMO products, and a heightened interest in not just a product’s attributes, but how it was made and by whom.

As the most multicultural population, the authenticity of the cuisine is especially important, since Gen. Z has shown that it wants to truly experience the food of other cultures.

Gen. Z wants to be heard and it is extremely important brands do what it takes to connect and build subsequent relationships with them. They find it extremely important to trust brands and if brands can’t meet the price and quality expectations of this generation, they’re automatically irrelevant.

With a new dawn comes a new era. While Gen. Z will take some time to fully age and bring their economic and social power to bear, food and beverage marketers should start preparing for their rise now!