So it’s finally time. I’m finally old enough to pontificate about “kids these days.”
As an official Millennial, I’ve been taking the heat for years, and I’m so excited to finally focus on Gen Z.
The Hartman Group recently released a report about the next generation, which has an upper age limit of about 20, and the research delves into their shopping habits, cooking patterns and their views on brands.
It also counters the myth that Gen Z will just be an enhanced version of Millennials.
“At this early phase, if Gen Z resemble anyone, they currently look much like their Gen X parents, but we believe this is more a reflection of their lack of experience than of their own personal food values,” the report says.
The report also found that Gen Z is cool with private label brands, but they also love iconic brands like Doritos and Oreos. And they like simple ingredients.
As a feminist, I was thrilled to read that they also no longer see cooking as “women’s work.”
“Boys and girls are equally likely to make their own food, and they see cooking as an accessible skill that anyone with an Internet connection can learn to do, and indeed should learn, because it is healthier and less expensive than eating restaurant food all the time (again, frugal and practical),” the report says. “How they will deal with these tasks as they begin their own families is going to be interesting.”
They’re also probably going to shop online even more than Millennials — something I’m sure Baby Boomers didn’t think was possible.
“Many don’t understand why their parents don’t shop more online, and because they’re not very experienced shoppers themselves, they don’t share their parents’ fondness for picking out their own items — fresh or otherwise,” the report says. “Their phones are already their connection to the rest of the world. For them, grocery shopping online will seem not only convenient but the most natural thing in the world to do. That doesn’t mean they won’t go in person occasionally, but the drivers will certainly be different.”
Obviously, it would be wise for candy companies to start adjusting to that new reality now — especially since it dramatically decreases the chances of the grabbing a candy bar at the checkout line at the grocery store.
The good news is, people can’t buy gas online yet, so gas stations will probably remain one of the best places to impulsively reach for a Snickers or a Kit Kat. Of course, that also depends on them going into the physical store after they use their phone to pay at the pump. But hey, everyone has to use the bathroom eventually, right?
It’s going to be interesting to see what candy sales look like in 20 years, when everyone is having their groceries delivered by drones.
But I’m not too worried about Gen Z as a whole. As far as I can tell the only problem with Gen Z is that I don’t really have a problem with them. So I guess I’ll have to wait to really complain about “kids these days.”