The full service sales and marketing firm’s latest “Why behind the buy?” finds older Gen Zers, aged 12-21, are starting to grocery shop in earnest as they begin to leave their parents’ houses and graduate from college to start their lives on their own.
Currently, this group represents the smallest portion of shoppers and lowest spenders, according to Acosta. It reports Gen Z makes up only 7% of shoppers older than 18 years, compared to 27% of Millennials and 26% of Gen X. Likewise, they spend $269 on average per month on groceries, compared to $298 for Millennials and $380 for Gen X.
But even though this group is the smallest and spends the least, Acosta suggests retailers and manufacturers should not ignore them because their preferences will be the wave of the future.
Diversity drives demand for global flavors
One way that Gen Z likely will reshape merchandising is by demanding a more diverse selection to better represent their racial and cultural diversity, suggests Acosta.
“Generations are becoming more racially and culturally diverse; while only 21% of the population ages 75 and older are non-white, 46% of Gen Z shoppers … are non-white, including 22% who identify as Hispanic and 4% as multi-racial,” Acosta reports.
It adds, “From 2010 to 2020, 89% of US population growth is forecast to come from racial and multicultural growth (non-white), which is impacting what’s being purchased in stores as tastes continue to diversify.”
Healthy, fresh food is a top priority
Another way that Gen Z likely will influence what retailers stock is by further elevating the importance of healthy, natural and better-for-you products.
“Gen Z shoppers show high awareness of, and desire for, healthy food, with more than one-third of their grocery basket considered organic products on a typical trip,” Acosta notes.
Gen Z, like Millennials, tend to favor smaller more frequent trips – another factor that could influence how retailers stock store shelves, Acosta suggests.
Gen Z is heavily influenced by technology
Finally, Acosta notes that Gen Z is the first generation to have never known life without the Internet. As such, digital plays a big role in how they shop.
For example, 42% of Gen Z shoppers say they use a digital grocery list, Acosta reports.
In addition, “initial information indicates that some Gen Z consumers are getting brand information from online influencers (like well-known bloggers and other internet personalities), in addition to considering the brand recommendations of their family and friends,” Acosta reports.