New research by Ingredient Communications highlights that Generation Z consumers are more concerned about the sustainability credentials of food and beverage products than Boomers and find vegetarian and vegan products more appealing.
In a survey of 1,000 adults in the US and UK, a third of those aged 18-25 (34%) said they consider it ‘very important’ that a product is made sustainably, compared with 18% of those aged 65 and over.
Meanwhile, 38% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they find vegetarian claims on products to be ‘very appealing’ and 33% said they feel the same way about vegan claims. Only 6% of respondents aged 65+ said they find vegetarian claims ‘very appealing’ and just 3% said the same about vegan claims.
The research shows that the youngest consumers are more price sensitive, too. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents aged 18-24 said it is ‘very important’ that a product is the cheapest available, while only 3% of people aged 65+ agreed. Consumers aged 18-24 are much more willing to pay extra for a product that is made entirely with ingredients they recognise, with 67% saying they’d do so. Only 27% of those aged 65+ would pay more.
The research, conducted by SurveyGoo in September 2020, also found that the youngest shoppers have the strongest feelings against GMO ingredients. Two in five (39%) said that a GMO-free product is likely to be ‘very healthy’, compared with just 14% of over 65s.
In addition, while nearly four in 10 (38%) of 18 to 24-year-olds believe that label claim ‘gluten-free’ is a sign that a product is ‘very healthy’, only 6% of Boomers hold this view. Accordingly, 31% of 18-24s said they find a gluten-free claim on a product to be ‘very appealing’ compared with 8% of over-65s.