Meet Generation Z
The oldest members of Generation Z are leaving high school and going on to further training, or joining the workforce. The purchasing habits of these Post-Millennials are not the same as previous generations and, with about one-quarter of New Zealand’s population being Gen Z, changes will need to be made to how goods and services are marketed and sold to them. This trend is not restricted to New Zealand; in the US for example, Gen Z also make up about one-quarter of the population. As they age, they will become a large percentage of consumers.
Gen Z share many of their traits with Millennials, and are generally described by demographers as determined, innovative, confident, collaborative, culturally diverse, highly entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, self-reliant and pragmatic. This translates into Gen Z wanting fresh and healthy food that is convenient, with global flavours, backed up by social and environmental sustainability that they can research and see for themselves. The emphasis is on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and less reliance on meat. This is particularly good news for growers of fresh fruit and vegetables, but it also requires food to be packaged and made convenient and easy to eat. The other trait that is of particular importance is that Post-Millennials are demanding; they want fresh and flavoursome food prepared to order, when and where they want it, with no waiting. Of course they also want it at the cheapest possible price, but that is relative to their other demands listed above. The challenge is to deliver what they want, at a price they will pay.
A failure to meet Gen Z’s requirements will end up costing sales. There is some evidence for this from the United States, where the trend is moving away from the traditional fast food outlets that serve chips and burgers, to more prepared food bought from supermarkets and other stores. This has resulted in the traditional fast food outlets changing the types of food that they are offering, which opens up a whole new type of food service. We need to take note of this in New Zealand, as Generation Z gets older and increases their purchasing power.
- Mike Chapman, CEO