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Recent research conducted by Veris Strategies has highlighted the importance of adapting business strategies to attract ‘Gen Z’ (those born roughly between 1995 and 2012).
Gen Z’s appreciation of transparency and desire for trust could be good news for the food and drink industry; particularly the speciality sector.
The report, titled Think 2030, states: “These post-Millennials are being tagged the ‘True Gen’ – the generation engaged in searching for truth. Businesses will need to rethink and deliver to a new breed of digital natives that can fact-check and cross-reference with a few swipes. Transparency, business ethics and prosumer models will be prioritised given that Gen Z will want to work for organisations they can be proud of.”
In America, Mars’ CEO Grant Reid recognises the value of attracting Gen Z, considering “listening to the post-Millennial generation [as] paramount for success,” according to the report. The business ranked fifth in the World’s Best Multinational Greatest Workplaces 2019 list.
Paul Hargreaves, chief executive of Cotswold Fayre, says: “Long before sustainability was as important to customers as it is today, much of the speciality food and drink industry has been making products in an authentic and sustainable way. In fact, you only need to look at the long list of the food and drink companies within the UK B Corp community to see that the sector has a higher representation than any other industry. This should give us great encouragement when we are looking to recruit people from the younger generations including Generation Z. Working for companies that are “good for the world” is right at the top of this generation’s wish list when looking for a company to work for, so don’t hold back on pushing your sustainability when recruiting good new people. They want to work for honest companies making products in a way that is sustainable for people and planet.”
Kate Cawley, founder of Veris Strategies, says: “Gen Z are trying to make better choices when they are shopping – this means brands and manufacturers who are transparent and have intrinsic purpose will be favoured, those that do not engage with the Gen Z mission will ultimately be the ones that lose out. Gen Z are looking for signals that encourage sustainable living without losing the ease factor – through renewable packaging sources, evidence of community support and sustainably sourced ingredients that make them feel good through consciously consuming and as a consequence, being climate smart. Gen Z, more than any consumer, are demanding businesses act conscientiously across all areas of their operation and not just around the climate crisis; ethics are of equal importance and an expectation that brands are considering their impact on wider society.”