Industry Insights

Food and Sustainability: What Matters Most to Millennials and Gen Z

Food and Sustainability: What Matters Most to Millennials and Gen Z

Consumers are increasingly demanding that the food and beverages they purchase meet a range of sustainability-related attributes. These sustainability attributes have become an essential consideration in dairy, meat, and meat's plant-based counterparts.

What do Gen Z and Millennials Care About the Most When it Comes to Food?

Simporter AI analyzed 818,791 product reviews from Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger among six food categories, from prepared meals to grains. We cross-analyzed consumer posts on Instagram and Facebook and search trends from Google across 4,379 products and 796 brands.

Our research showed that sustainability-based messaging is a must-have rather than a differentiator among consumers, specifically for younger consumers in the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Sustainability-minded consumers are actively seeking out food and beverage products with a significantly positive impact on the planet and their personal health and well-being. They seek products with clean label claims and locally sourced ingredients.

A consumer's willingness and ability to adopt sustainability practices can be broken out into two phases. In the beginning, consumers are mainly interested in environmental preservation and sustainable packaging. As their commitment deepens, or as they become older, they become more likely to establish intrinsic associations like personal health.

Positive Attributes Share of Consumer Mentions in Food Sample By Age Total US -- P6M

food - trends analysis - AI - products research

Sustainability-minded attributes are essential to younger Millennials and Gen Z (individuals younger than 35). They are aware of sustainable practices, their environmental impact, and ways to reduce consumption. These consumers tend to focus on keywords such as Green, Sustainable, Plant-based, Recyclable, and Renewable.

Consumers above 35, on the other hand, tend to focus on health-related attributes, particularly around Nutrients, Healthy Eating, and Gut Health.

Sustainability-focused attributes are critical to your target messaging, but remember what really drives purchases: taste and price.

Using sustainability in your target messaging is important in bringing in target consumers. But as our Food and Sustainability webinar expert guest, Dave Donnan, pointed out, it’s always going to come down to taste and price when it comes to food products. If you don't have taste and price, the product is not going to sell.

With the help of AI and Machine Learning, companies can now track their customer's changing tastes in real-time. They are able to utilize these insights to get market-ready with products that will be successful before they're released into the wild.

And if you're ready to see what Simporter AI can do for you,  request a demo on our website.

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