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Taste of Tomorrow: Navigating Food through the Eyes of Gen Z and Alpha

Born between 1996 and 2012, Gen Z is a unique group of consumers marked by distinct attitudes and expectations, especially in their approach to food and beverages. Despite sharing some values with Millennials such as embracing diversity and advocating for environmental and social concerns, Gen Z stands apart with unparalleled diversity and digital immersion.

While Gen Alpha – born between 2012 and now – is still very young, they are expected to carry forward Gen Z’s digital fluency, but their perspectives on food, beverages, sustainability, and technology will likely continue to evolve as they age. The study "Taste of Tomorrow: Navigating Food through the Eyes of Gen Z and Alpha" will decipher the cultural, social, environmental, and political influences that mold these consumers’ worldviews and food lives. Deep insights and actionable implications will help companies across the food and beverage industry cater to Gen Z and Alpha’s future evolving needs and preferences.

Reliance on Restaurants: An American Eating Occasions Perspective

Consumers utilize foodservice for a variety of reasons, ranging from convenience and flavor to socializing and discovering food traditions from around the globe. Today, about one-quarter of all U.S. adult eating occasions involve restaurant-sourced food and beverage.  

Utilizing the Hartman Group’s proprietary Compass Eating Occasions Database, this report takes an in-depth look into restaurant occasions through a need state framework that contextualizes and illuminates how Americans use restaurants to obtain food. The report explores restaurant sourcing differences across demographics, social context and daypart, and also includes a 12-page spotlight on dine-in vs. takeout. 

10 key takeaways will help inform strategy for industry experts, like restaurant operators and suppliers, as well as manufacturers and retailers who compete with the foodservice industry. 

Modern Beverage Culture 2023

The Hartman Group’s Modern Beverage Culture 2023 study explores how consumers engage with today’s rich beverage landscape, including cultural context, attitudes, behaviors and aspirations around beverage consumption. The Modern Beverage Need State model highlights six key need states driving beverage choices, with a focus on how 12 beverage categories perform within these needs. The study provides actionable guidance on how consumers navigate the increasingly complex beverage landscape and how companies can best engage consumers in this fast-innovating space.

Sustainability & Transparency 2023

“Sustainability” once simply signified humans’ use of natural resources to support both present and future generations – but today’s consumer understands it is a much more nuanced global challenge. The Hartman Group’s Sustainability & Transparency 2023 study will explore how consumers navigate their environmental and social values along their unique food journeys.

When we last explored the World of Sustainability in 2021, consumers were becoming increasingly aware of both broad global issues and the more tangible challenges surrounding this dynamic topic. However, their understanding of these various components and their mutual relationships was less nuanced.

The 2023 study will provide actionable insights into how different consumer segments define sustainability today, what choices they’re currently prioritizing to address sustainability concerns, plus how hot topics like upcycling, worker welfare and climate change fit into the broader picture.