Gen Z's consumption behavior - food tech news in Asia

Generation Z refers to young people born between 1997 to 2012, following millennials. Gen Z tends to reflect their pragmatic approach to money and education when purchasing consumer goods. Despite being the most online generation, Gen Z likes shopping in stores, where they can get assistance and query for details. Gen Z’ers have high expectations of customer service and product quality and like individualized shopping experiences that can be tailored to their personal preferences.  

In February 2022, Shanghai Consumer Council conducted together with Genki Forest a survey on Generation Z’s consumption of beverages to try and reveal Gen Z’s consumption characteristics.  

The survey shows that 51% of respondents purchased beverages more than three times a week and only 15 % bought beverages once a week. Males’ and females’ choices of beverages vary with girls favoring bubble tea, coffee, and sparkling water while boys preferring carbonated beverages, and functional beverages. Gen Z tends to be much less attached to specific brands and inclines to diversify.  

There are many factors behind why Gen Z loves beverages so much. Purchasing beverages can meet Gen Z’s various demands, such as acquiring happiness, relaxation, and comfort. In different scenarios, Gen Z may have different emotional needs. The survey shows that 63% of Gen Z choose coffee in the workplace; 58% choose sparkling water in studying scenarios; 65% choose bubble teas in social scenarios.  

Different beverages with different flavors bring distinct sensory experiences. Gen Z favors beverages with fruit, tea, and milky flavors; at the same time, they also pay more attention to a healthy lifestyle. 41% of Gen Z will choose “zero sugar” beverages.  

Gen Z also pays a high value to cultural themes; therefore, while choosing between foreign brands and domestic brands, national brands will be their first choice. National elements such as Chinese red, Chinese ink painting, Chinese dragon, the Forbidden City, and Chinese myths are especially attractive to Gen Z.  

Gen Z also likes to recommend favorable beverages to their friends and families. 59% of Gen Z buy beverages in offline convenience stores and supermarkets. Out of all the generations, Gen Z is also the most likely to shop via social media platforms such as TikTok and Kuaishou (A Chinese e-commerce platform that sells via short videos).

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