According to the Gen Z vs. Millennials Youth Snacking Trends Report by Knit, an Austin, Texas-based research firm, consumers chose snacks based on flavours, ingredients, packaging, and other factors.
According to Knit, millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Anyone born after 1997 is considered to be a part of the world’s first ethnically and technologically diverse generation. The research firm also categorizes Gen Z as addicted to their screens, idealistic about the environment and social issues, and with an estimated $150 billion in combined purchasing power (and counting).
Discover how the two generations’ different snacking habits differ by reading on.
76.2% of those who responded to the study indicated they snack two to three times per day. In comparison to Gen Z’s 7.1%, millennials are more likely to snack frequently (18.2% vs. 7.1%). However, a portion of Gen Zers (27.9% vs. 19.9% of millennials) are more likely to limit their snacking to only one snack per day.
According to the report, millennials prefer salty snacks while Gen Z prefers sweets. Compared to millennials, Gen Z has also shown a little higher liking for savoury and spicy food, at 57.1% and 47.9%, respectively.
Chips were the most popular category-specific snack choice for both age groups. The following most popular categories for Generation Z were cookies, chocolates, and then gummies. The following two most popular categories among millennials were crackers and snack mixtures.
Snacking was most common for Gen Z and millennials during passive activities like watching television and when they were bored at home. More than 56% of millennials and 50% of Gen Z watch television while snacking.
Assorted snacks that Gen Z prefers depend on the situation:
- Cheese and crackers when you’re bored at home
- Getting together with friends: gum
- Gummies, chips, and cookies while watching TV
- Fruit and protein bars after working out
The following are millennials’ preferred snacks, listed by the situation:
- Cookies and crackers for when you’re bored at home
- Having a social gathering: cheese, cookies, and chips
- Granola bars and snack mixtures for on-the-go
- Watching TV: chocolate and chips
- Protein bars after working out
According to Knit, the popularity of gluten-free and plant-based diets has caused parents and younger customers to pay more attention to the labels of the products they eat.
When it comes to choosing which snack to consume, Gen Z and millennials appear to be most influenced by the ingredients, while calorie and macro counts are not far behind.
Pricing is the primary element that influences both millennials and members of Generation Z to try a new snack. According to Knit, they want to be sure that the risky purchases leave room for their mainstays before spending a chunk of their weekly snacking budget.
Following price, brand recognition exerts a strong influence on Gen Z consumers’ decisions to try new snacks, with 52.4% placing the brand first or second, compared to 48.4% of millennials.
Although seeing something new in an aisle remains the top way to discover new products for both Gen Z and millennials (46.2% and 58.2%, respectively), Gen Z’s price sensitivity continues to be a factor. In-store coupons are more likely to persuade Gen Zers (12.8% vs. 5.5%) to try new snacks than they are to persuade millennials.
Gen Z is more influenced by in-store advertisements than millennials, who test new products at a rate of 7.7% vs. 3.6%.