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Clean Label Challenges: Gen Z Foodies

Clean Label Challenges: Gen Z Foodies


Last Published: 03/19/2019

Clean Label Challenges: Gen Z Foodies

High school and college-age consumers are the most sophisticated and diverse foodies ever!


Accounting for 27 percent of the U.S. population today, Generation Z, the generation born between 1993 and 2003. Today, those who fall in this age range are coming into adulthood and well into exercising their own food-buying choices. According to NPD Group research, in their report, “Eating Patterns in America,” Gen Z brings the term “foodie” to an entirely new level.

This is the first generation that can be called digital natives. They are used to having a wealth of information at their fingertips and they know how to do their research. This involves everything from sharing culinary artistry over Instagram to investigating the supply chain for ingredients included in their favorite food or beverage.

Real food is the rallying cry of Gen Z in the grocery store and as foodservice customers. Their key demands center on food that fulfills a desire for authenticity, freshness and purity. As a group, they are the generation that is most cognizant of the environmental impact of farming practices and supply chain and hold the belief that clean eating improves quality of life. They want foods that are natural, organic and sustainable, to support their quest to protect the environment and practice conscious eating. The farm-to-fork movement needs to be transparent and provide authentic information.

The NPD Group report, “Make it Happen for Gen Zs,” declares Gen Z eschews artificial ingredients and prefers foods and beverages with transparent, clean labeling. But keep the label simple: this generation is skeptical of big brands and too many label claims. Despite this desire for farm-to-fork transparency and simplified labels, Gen Z also demands convenience, ready-to-eat foods and portable foods that fit into their busy lifestyle—with customization and personalization tossed in as a bonus.

Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.

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