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2019 Gen Z Dining Trends

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Gen Zers have made their way onto college campuses across the country and brought new dining demands and eating behaviors with them. Many students are opting for food options that accommodate their lifestyle and support their health goals. Explore how the new generation of college students is influencing today’s campuses in this resource.

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2019 Gen Z Dining Trends

  1. 1. GEN Z DINING TRENDS 2019
  2. 2. GENERATION Z is the newest group of college-aged consumers transforming the dining landscape. With $143 billion in U.S. spending power, members of Gen Z have earned themselves a reputation of being the dominant consumers of the modern world. This SlideShare reveals what you need to know about this unpredictable generation to keep them participating in your dining program. Gen Z Quick Stats1 • Born between 1995 and 2006 • 46% nonwhite • Make up 26% of the U.S. population • By 2020, will represent 40% of U.S. population • $143 billion in U.S. spending power
  3. 3. Gen Z is Diverse3 Gen Z is more racially and culturally diverse than previous generations. 46% of ages 18–21 identify as nonwhite and 22% identify as Hispanic. Gen Z Tech Style “Neo-Digital Natives”4 The first truly digital generation, they expect tech-friendly service in all dining venues, especially through online ordering and mobile payments. Gen Z Dining Style “Functional Eaters”2 They eat meals and snacks on the go, expect speed and accuracy, and care deeply about convenience and the next new food trend. Gen Z Spending Style3 They are not big spenders but are dedicated to healthy organic food and make frequent trips to the grocery store. They spend an average of $269 on groceries each month.
  4. 4. NEW FOOD TRENDS SHAPING GEN Z Gen Z—The Healthier Generation Gen Zers demand fresh and healthy food. This impacts everything from where they choose to go for higher education to where they choose to eat once they’re on campus. of Gen Zers’ grocery baskets are composed of organic products3 1/3 GEN Z QUICK STATS1 • 1 in 5 campuses call out healthy items to help students find the healthiest choices • Vegan and vegetarian remain the most common health claims in campus dining • Gen Zers say “clean eating” improves their quality of life • A growing number of higher education campuses offer gluten-free dining halls and areas
  5. 5. Gen Z’s Healthy Eating Behaviors5 All-Natural Generation embrace fresher, healthier food choices and fewer unhealthy foods Snacks Steal the Plate eat smaller main meals and more snacks In-Home Breakfast on the Rise crave substantial breakfast foods Make Room for Favorites love lunch kits, fruit leather, toaster pastries, and frozen meals
  6. 6. Leading Changes in Health Claims on Campus2 +44% Do not want low-fat +5% Gluten-free +4% Vegan What Students Consider When Evaluating the Healthiness of a Meal6 33% Nutritional content 23% Quality of food Leading Health Food Claims on Campuses2 73% Vegan 71% Vegetarian 35% Gluten-free 20% Healthy 15% Fat-free 11% Organic 11% Low-fat The Healthy Food Mindset
  7. 7. Healthy Menu Ideas to Boost Gen Z Dining on Campus • Offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options • Open an all-day smoothie bar • Provide healthy lunch kits • Source snack options such as nuts, yogurt and fruit Students were asked if they would be more likely, less likely, or equally as likely to eat on campus if a broader selection of healthy options were available. Here’s what they said:6 57% More likely 36% Same 7% Less likely
  8. 8. Many students would participate in additional initiatives to encourage healthier eating if they were offered on campus.6 20% Extremely likely 15% Likely 21% Extremely likely 15% Likely 19% Extremely likely 17% Likely 26% Extremely likely 19% Likely Create a dedicated dining location on campus for healthy meals Offer healthy cooking classes Provide stations with menu options that are all under a specified calorie limit Provide mobile apps to make and track dining choices based upon personal nutrition goals
  9. 9. Gen Zers and Mindful Dining Gen Zers want to know what’s in their food and beverages to make the most informed decisions about health, environmental and ethical issues. To appeal to today’s students, campuses need to understand Gen Z’s “mindful” approach to dining. Only 40% of Gen Zers think there are healthy options available in school vending machines7 Mindfulness Dining Ideas to Boost Gen Z Participation on Campus • Provide brick-and-mortar, hands-on food experiences • Perfect the digital food ordering experience • Give them ways to engage with food services online • Emphasize better-for-you snacks and beverages, including organic, natural, GMO-free or zero-calorie • Provide trendy, healthy options, such as plant-based meat alternatives and Asian-and Indian-inspired meals
  10. 10. 5 Dining Trends Impacting Gen Z7 Enjoy culinary adventures 71% like trying new dishes and flavors at restaurants 76% like to hang out with their friends at a restaurant 66% like restaurants that offer shareable food Want the feeling of community Are heavily influenced by food media 56% like to watch the Food Network 52% like to watch “Tasty” and other cooking videos on Facebook and Instagram Rely on word of mouth 86% like to eat at restaurants they have heard good things about 78% like to try restaurants their friends have recommended Want food their way 91% like restaurants where they get their order quickly 87% like restaurants where they can customize their meal
  11. 11. Gen Zers Want Allergy-Free Options Many Gen Zers have grown up omitting a wide range of foods. Students with allergies want to feel safe when they dine and expect every food service venue to meet their allergy-free requirements. Cooking allergy-free isn’t as hard as you think of food allergies come from just 8 foods: 90% Milk Eggs Peanuts Tree Nuts Soy Wheat Fish Shellfish
  12. 12. How Many People Have Food Allergies?8 Food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 30% of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food 6 million: Children under 18 with food allergies → that’s 1 in every 13 kids with at least one food allergy 15 million: Americans with food allergies → that’s 5% of the population 3 million: Americans with celiac disease → that’s 1% of the total population
  13. 13. How Serious Are Food Allergy Reactions?8 Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food Childhood hospitalizations for food allergy tripled between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s 40% of children with food allergies have experienced a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis Caring for children with food allergies costs U.S. families nearly $25 billion annually Ideas to Promote Allergy-Free Dining on Your Campus • Offer several food choices that are free from the eight most common allergens—wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish • Create allergy-free dining rooms or areas • Promote your allergy-free options on social media to inform students and encourage them to eat on campus
  14. 14. “Plant-Forward” Is the New “Low-Fat” Gen Zers are more likely to eat less meat for health and ethical reasons than other age groups. They expect to find more plant-forward options wherever they dine. It’s time for campuses to focus on “plant power.” 60% want to reduce meat consumption9
  15. 15. Plant-Forward Diet Appeal by Generations9 63% Gen X 69% Millennial 52% Boomer 65% Gen Z
  16. 16. How often would you choose plant-based and plant-forward foods in college?9 31% Sometimes 30% Most times 23% Every time Would you try plant-based foods completely new to you?9 42% Would today 39% Would potentially in the future 20% Would not Plant-Forward Stats9 62% want to eat more fruit and veggies 35% see the plant-forward lifestyle as a way to save money 63% cite weight management as the top reason for going plant-forward
  17. 17. IDEAS FOR FOCUSING ON PLANT POWER ON YOUR CAMPUS • Create more plant-forward dishes and options that support students’ health goals • Offer unfamiliar options, but emphasize known and loved dishes • Provide plant options for the full range of students— from vegans to carnivores • Use icons to identify the plant-forward options • Emphasize the health benefits of eating more plant-based food • Provide students with healthy meats and protein-rich options
  18. 18. The Farm-to-Fork Generation For Gen Zers, ingredients and meats that are fresh, local, natural, organic, plant-based, and grass-fed are the overlap between personal health and environmental sustainability. All of these qualities come together in one hot trend: farm- to-fork dining. Food venues perceived as less healthy, less fresh, and more processed are also perceived as less sustainable and of lower quality.10
  19. 19. Farm-to-Fork Trends10 When dining out, consumers associate healthier food with being more sustainable because it tends to be more “natural,” fresh, and less processed These cues such as “fresh” and “less processed” also communicate higher-quality food Consumers trust farmers significantly more than food manufacturers and the government when it comes to food safety practices Many brands are earning consumer trust by demonstrating that they use safe, fair, and environmentally friendly practices. Emerging certification programs being adopted by cleaner brands address ingredient integrity, transparency and animal welfare
  20. 20. Gen Z Embraces More Global Flavors Gen Z is the most diverse generation in U.S. history. Young diners’ sophisticated palates translate into a demand for authentic and bold ingredients in many of their favorite meals. of Gen Zers express interest in seeing more international street foods on menus5 42%
  21. 21. Top Cuisine Choices11 74% Mexican 22% Spanish 19% Indian 26% French 76% Chinese 32% Japanese 24% Thai 32% Greek 16% Mediterranean 71% Italian
  22. 22. Changes in Entrée and Appetizer Trends (2016 to 2017)12 +45% Biryani +20% Quinoa/couscous salad +16% Chicken dumpling soup +13% Tater tots +8% Cereal/granola +7% Fried green beans +7% Chicken kabob Ideas to Expand Food Flavors on Your Campus • Add more international food selections, including Asian, Mexican and Italian • Solicit food requests from students, fulfill their preferences and promote the new flavors • Bring diversity to everything from the campus dining rooms, to convenience stores, to vending machines
  23. 23. Probiotic mentions increase from 2016 to 201712 40% Gen Zers Crave Gut-Friendly Ingredients Now that allergen-free foods are mainstream, food establishments are exploring the next wellness space: gut-friendly foods. Ideas to Promote Gut-Healthy Ingredients on Your Campus • Add gut-forward products like yogurt, kefir, kombucha and kimchi—all said to boost digestion— into menus 18-34-year-olds Believe These Food Claims to Be Most Healthful13 75% 59% 57% 49% High in antioxidants Aid digestion Contain probiotics Relieve stress
  24. 24. Gen Z Demands Sustainable Stewardship Gen Z consumers care about the planet and are using their digital devices to spread social and environmental messages far and wide. This reality is impacting all aspects of our society—from product and service offerings to investments being made by academic institutions. 3 in 4 Millennials and Gen Zers are willing to pay extra for sustainable product offerings14
  25. 25. Gen Z Cares About the Planet15 Gen Z’s Top Environmental Passions15 Climate change Alternative energy Fair land use Ideas to Promote Sustainability on Your Campus • Purchase sustainable ingredients from local and organic sources • Give students reusable take-out containers • Use reusable or compostable cups, plates and utensils • Communicate sustainability programs with students on menus and social media 94% Believe companies should help address social and environmental issues (versus 87% of Millennials) 89% Would rather buy from a company that supports social and environmental issues over one that does not 81% Believe they can have an impact on social or environmental issues by using social media
  26. 26. Holding Leaders Accountable16 80% of Gen Z believes current leaders around the world have not done enough to protect the environment 80% believe governments need to invest more into renewable energy sources 600 colleges and universities are now members of the Climate Leadership Network, working to achieve carbon-neutral goals going forward Students enrolled in hundreds of academic institutions in the United States have pushed administrators into stepping away from fossil fuels
  28. 28. www.aramark.com Sources 1. U.S. Census 2. Technomic: College and University Trend Report 3. Acosta: The Why? Behind the Buy Report 4. Andrew Freeman & Co.: Trend Study 5. NDP: A Generational Study on the Evolution of Eating Report 6. Aramark: 2016 DiningStyles Report 7. Y-Pulse: Understanding Tomorrow’s Tastemakers Today Report 8. Food Allergy Research & Education’s Facts and Statistics 9. Aramark: Plant Power Report 10. Hartman Group: Food Culture Forecast 11. Parade: Top 10 Ethnic Cuisines Americans Crave Most 12. Technomic: Menu Monitor Study 13. Technomic: Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report 14. Nielsen: The Sustainability Imperative Report 15. Cone: 2017 Gen Z CSR Study: How to Speak Gen Z 16. Masdar: Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey