Gen Z Loves Sugar, Mission-Based Brands: Study

Mintel revealed key characteristics of the up-and-coming generation


At the recent Information of Food Technology conference (IFT), Mintel had a unique take on the members of Gen Z.

These consumers, who range in age from 11 to 23, represent 17% of the population and have more information regarding healthy eating than any other age group.

Their parents’ main concern, according to Mintel, is with sugar intake. One quarter of teens ages 15 to 17 said they worry about staying healthy, with another almost half noting that they think drinking soda is unhealthy.

Health is not the only way brands can appeal to a Gen Z consumer, says Mintel. Almost half of all surveyed said they believe they can make the world a better place. As a result, mission-based brands that empower consumers to take action better resonate.

Project NOSH writes that the Mintel data suggests that these consumers also often align themselves with brands that use technology in interesting ways to tell their story. As digital natives who have never had to live without the internet or technology, Gen Z consumers often seek to connect with like-minded companies and accelerate change through social media. It also creates more opportunities for these consumers to be inspired by food itself, Mintel suggests.

“The wide range of food media, whether 'MasterChef Junior' or YouTube videos, has piqued an interest in food and drink among some members of Gen Z,” Jenny Zegler, associate director of Mintel’s food and drink division, told Project NOSH. “[This] presents an opening for interactive products that encourage Gen Z to safely experiment and extend their passion for food and drink, such as chips that allow consumers to make their own flavor or kits to make more complex recipes or international meals at home.”


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