Field Agent report shows Gen Z brand preferences, cooking habits

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 617 views 

Generation Z consumer insights are of interest to retailers and product manufacturers because the demographic already yields roughly $143 billion in spending power, according to the Barkley Report.

Fayetteville-based Field Agent’s recent report on Gen Z shopping habits revealed info about Gen Z’s preference for brands. This young demographic will purchase store brands with 64% of the survey respondents always or often buy the generic or store brand. Those who sometimes buy store brands totaled 31% and just 5% said they rarely favor the private label brands.

However, Gen Z respondents are brand loyal in some categories like snacks and prepared meal kits. Lays topped the list of favorite snack brands among the respondents. Salty snacks are also a hit with this group who are most loyal to Doritos, Cheez-Its, Nature Valley, Nabisco, Kellogg’s and Goldfish were the brands most cited in the report.

Unlike the Millennial generation who steered clear of sodas, Gen Z is a fan. The majority of respondents said they were loyal to Coke and Pepsi. Dr. Pepper ranked third with Gatorade, Minute Maid and Sprite rounding out the six most popular beverage brands among this group.

Given the age of the cohort in the survey (18-22) meal simplicity is also a win. Respondents named Hamburger Helper and Tyson for their favor meal-prep brands. The respondents said they are loyal to these brands. This group’s attitude about “nutritious” foods is not that different from their parent’s generation, but different from Millennials. Over half (59%) of the Gen Z group said they consider Yoplait Yogurt nutritious and 54% said that of Cliff Bars. Nearly half considered canned mixed nuts nutritious.

Breakfast cereals like Raisin Bran and Cheerios also indexed high with Generation Z as “nutritious.” Their parents indexed even higher on cereal as nutritious food. Again, Millennials stay away from boxed cereals, instead favoring fresh fruit smoothies or oatmeal. Pop Tarts, another breakfast food, did not index well against any of the demographics with just 4% seeing this food as nutritious. Skinny Pop popcorn, a challenger brand, was only seen as nutritious food by 34% of Gen Z.

About one third (33%) of Gen Z respondents consider packaged sliced turkey from Hillshire Farms as nutritious. This generation and their parents are more apt to get freshly sliced deli meats without the added preservatives. Millennials are more likely to steer clear of heavily processed meats.

The report also found Gen Z is more comfortable in the kitchen than Millennials. Field Agent found 75% of Gen Z respondents cook a meal completely from scratch. The other 25% use meal kits.

While it’s still early, Field Agent said Gen Z is worth watching as the oldest among this cohort are entering adulthood. The group also said they are very price sensitive given their limited budgets, but they expect changes in their grocery shopping in the next few years.

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