Food for thought: how to cater to different generations’ food trends

25 May 2018
Food trends are not only susceptible to time, taste and cultural differences; they also differ between generations. Certain food trends that are an instant hit with Millennials just cause a shrug or even an eye-roll with older generations. How can we cater to the demands of different generations?

Catering to baby boomer food demands

Baby boomers were born in the two decades following WWII, and are now crossing the threshold of middle age. In the Western world, they still form the largest group of consumers, and therefore are still holding a huge spending power – in spite of the many boomers who are retiring. Because of their age, health concerns play an important role in their choice of food. According to C+R Research, baby boomers’ purchase of a product is mostly influenced by sugar and fat contents of products. They are therefore most likely to respond positively to health related products, especially products that are free from sodium.

Catering to Gen X’er food demands

Most of the “lost generation” of Gen X’ers are now at the peak of their career. This group between 34 and 48 years old, even though smaller than the baby boom generation, has the largest spending power in the world at the moment. That being said, research showed them to be far more focused than their predecessors on the cost of food products. The cheaper, the better, this generation seems to believe. But only up to a point, because a second interest of theirs is in all natural products. In this lies a possibility food manufacturers. A recent study has shown that there is a correlation between the preference for naturalness and the willingness to pay a premium price for free-from products. It is reasonable to assume that natural benefits may outweigh cost objections for this generation.

Catering to Millennial food demands

Where the demands of baby boomers and Gen X’ers sometimes overlap, the Millennial generation shows a much different behavior. Contrary to their predecessors, Millennials are much more concerned with products that are plant based and environmentally friendly. Since they are the future big spenders – as well as being the most active shoppers at the moment – it is important for brands to offer them free-from and clean labeled products, without complex and suspicious-sounding chemical names.

Producers can easily implement high-standard dairy-free solutions to cater to different generations. Read more in our whitepaper Life is great, dairy-free makes it better.

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