Now That We Understand Millennials -- Generation Z and Organic Produce


No one doubts Millennials and  Generation X are having a huge influence on food trends, especially in building the growing demand for organic produce.  Three studies about the next generation of influencers – Generation Z -- help understand how they are influencing food trends and the new changes they will bring to the marketplace. 

Recent studies by the Hartman Group, NPD Group and the HRC Advisory focus on the impact of Generation Z on how Americans eat and what will change in the future.  

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Generation Z grew up in the midst of the healthy eating trend, celebrity chefs and America’s obesity problems showcased in the news.  They are preteens and teens ages ten through 21, born after 1995 and by 2020, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population will be Generation Z.  The Hartman study states that unlike prior generations, Generation Z received unprecedented exposure to healthy diets and global cuisine which makes them food knowledgeable.  As they age, they are sharing their food savvy with friends, family, social networks and online social media. 

Healthy, Fresh, Organic Future

The NPD Group, a market researcher, predicts Gen Z will be more likely to eat fresh, healthy meals at home causing fresh food consumption to continue its rise.  With Generation Z’s focus on fresh at all meals including snacks, NPD also projects  interest in organic labels will remain strong among the youngest generations – a win for organic fresh produce.  

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The Hartman Group’s study agrees.  Melissa Abbott, vice-president of culinary insights, says their studies show more than half of Generation Z perceive organic as healthier, compared to only 39 percent of older generations in the survey.  “Generation Z views organic as a symbol of healthy food, while boomers see it as an absence of negatives.” Abbott adds, Generation Z sees organic as tasting better, too.”   

Generation Z is already impacting  market trends by influencing others.  Teenagers are known to be highly effected  by their peers, especially in what they buy.  Generation Z admits to being effected  by what their parents purchase as well, with HRC’s study concluding there is reciprocal influence on their parents purchase.  More than 75 percent of Generation Z children and more than 82 percent of parents say that Gen Z children have some influence over parents’ buying decisions.

Surveys and Methodology

The Hartman Group used a national online survey of 529 teens aged 15 to 17 as well as conducting in-home interviews with individuals in this age group. For more information click here

Organic Produce Network (OPN)

The HRC Group surveyed 3,100 participants from the U.S. and Canada consisting of four groups; Generation Z, Millennials, Millennial Parents and Generation X parents.  Click for more

NPD’s report is based on their 30 years of data on actual food and beverage consumption behavior.  To order the report, click here.

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