Millennials and Gen Z driving shift toward plant-based foods

By Roger Lane

Experts agree the shift toward plant-based consumption is primarily driven by millennials, a group most likely to consider the food source, environmental impact and animal welfare issues when making a purchase. While millennials currently boast the largest percentage of self-identified vegans and vegetarians, Gen Z is on their heels and may be even more into vegan food. Researchers found Gen Z buys 80% more kale, 57% more tofu and 266% more avocados than Gen X.

Today’s resourceful and informed consumers increasingly scrutinize the brands they patronize. Our proprietary survey data suggests investigative millennials, in particular, find overwhelming value in the access to information regarding the sources and ingredients of any product they might purchase.

When navigating the retail landscape, millennials tend to follow a set of core values that guide their purchasing decisions. This “conscious consumption” principle is based on the tenets of self, society, and planet. Millennials are likely to ask themselves:

  • “How does the food I buy enrich the quality of life for my family or for myself?”
  • “What good is the company contributing to the broader community it serves?”
  • “How are brands impacting the world in which we live?”

Millennials feel a sense of responsibility and trepidation for our planet that compel them to research and select brands that honor humanity and the environment. Brands that make this information easily accessible will be rewarded. In fact, a LabelInsight study shows consumers will pay more for and are likely to try a brand’s entire portfolio that is supportive of increased transparency. For most consumers, brand transparency has potential for brand and product loyalty and increases the value or worth of a product as perceived by the consumer.

At 81 million members strong, millennials are connected, curious, and capable of driving consumer trends into the future. They understand technology and know where to get the answers they are looking for. With more spending power than any other generation, manufacturers, merchandisers and marketers should take note of millennials’ need for brand information and interaction.

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Loria, Joe, Millennials Driving Force Behind Global Vegan Movement 2018; Mercy for Animals, Forbes