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Gen Z: Holding The Keys To Unlocking The Future Marketplace

By: forbes.com 3 months ago
Gen Z: Holding The Keys To Unlocking The Future Marketplace

Millennials may be the prized target of the moment for marketers, but Gen Z is not so silently waiting in the wings, poised to make their own mark and blaze their own trail in contemporary lifestyles and food culture.

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Toss out the rules. Set aside well-worn beliefs. Make room for the new kids on the block. Millennials may be the prized target of the moment for marketers, but Gen Z is not so silently waiting in the wings, poised to make their own mark and blaze their own trail in contemporary lifestyles and food culture.

Students taking a selfie with their faces painted at the Book Fair International at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

For some time now, we’ve been documenting the transformation of food culture and how the macro factors have combined to create a modern food culture that is marked by fragmentation — a blurring of boundaries, an upending of rituals and the deconstruction of formerly idealized traditions. Gen Z is growing up and coming of age in this era of disruption and upending of tradition. They have the keys to changing their lives and getting to a better place.

Already at about a quarter of the U.S. population, Gen Z is projected to eclipse Millennials in size. Yet sheer size alone is not the only determinant that distinguishes Gen Z from other generations. While there are already many predictions out there as to how this youngest generation of the U.S. will act, the reality is no one can know for sure at this point. What we do know is that just as stereotypes have not been an accurate portrayal of the real Millennial generation of consumers — especially as reflected by their eating and drinking attitudes and behaviors — typecasting Gen Z at this early stage would be an equally futile exercise.

Here are five ways that distinguish Gen Z from other generations. They provide a glimpse into how this soon-to-be-influential generation will shape culture and the food and beverage marketplace going forward.

Growing Up Digital: Almost No Separation Between Online and Real Life

Gen Z are digital natives who have never known a time without the internet. Technology is central to every aspect of their lives, from socializing to schoolwork, entertainment to exercise, relaxation to reference. According to Pew Research Center, 25 percent are online “all the time.” Some reports show that they are getting more online time than sleep time! The Pew Research Center “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015, Ages 13-17” found that Gen Z send and receive over 67 texts on average every day.

Tech Dominates

With so much knowledge at their fingertips, there is no excuse not to know something. This power allows them to fact-check instantaneously when they question something. Teens turn to their online social communities for advice and information. Tech is fun, tech is entertaining, tech is useful. Tech enables teens to:

HoldingKeysUnlockingFutureMarketplace