Gen Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, have been very influential on the buying trends within the consumer marketplace. They are focusing on, not only that their food tastes good and is good for their bodies, but also how it gets from farm to table. Molly Pelzer, CEO of Midwest Dairy shares some of the research they have done on this topic and how they are working to meet the demand of Gen Z customers.
They have found that Gen Z consumers are mainly focused on two big topics: environmental sustainability and nutritional benefits. When it comes to environmental sustainability, consumers are concerned with things such as innovative packaging, as well as dairy producers care for the planet, their cows and the land they operate. They’ve seen over the years that many consumers are concerned with where their food comes from, but the difference with Gen Z consumers is that they are committed to making that part of their decision when purchasing food at either retail locations or restaurants.
To provide for Gen Z consumers, Pelzer says there are two main things to do it most effectively. First is to be present where those consumers are. Gen Z finds a lot of their information online or through social media. Making sure that accurate and relevant information about agriculture hits the top of their news feed often will help to connect with and educate these consumers. Secondly, she mentioned we need to give information on the topics these consumers are interested in. For example, consumers want to know what different foods can be more calming or comfort foods in some situations, and energy boosters in others. We as agriculturist can provide them with information that fulfill those needs.
Working with websites and social media to provide information on these topics to consumers is effective, but thinking about other cultural references that can relate to them can help even more. Looking at influencers or cultural trends that people are already following, can get the message out quicker and more effectively. People need someone or something they can trust, and working together will help benefit us all. However it doesn’t stop here. Into the future is important to continue to spur new ways of thinking. Finding new ways to connect with consumers will be on-going. Even things like virtual farm tours or things started during the pandemic, can be effective ways to continually connect with these people.