The oldest of Generation Z will be 22 years old this year and they are just beginning to make their mark on dining out and eating trends, finds The NPD Group, which tracks on a daily basis all aspects of how consumers eat. Gen Zs made 14.6 billion restaurant visits in 2018 and now represent 10% of total foodservice traffic. A large percentage of this generational group have been raised to put a greater emphasis on the quality of food, whether it's clean, fresh, or nutritionally beneficial, as well as its flavor and function. Their attitudes and behaviors about the foods they consume are now being reflected across grocery shelves and cases.
Growing up with a focus on the flavor and function of food rather than brand will make Gen Zs more challenging for food marketers to reach. For example, regardless of the brand, for Generation Z, if they can't take a snack with them, it's not really a snack. Portability is the benefit they value the most when choosing a snack, according to NPD's recently released The Future of Snacking report. They expect functionality as well with added nutrients and health benefits that will replenish their bodies throughout the day.