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Retail Trends – Part Two

TORONTO, Ont. (August, 2016) –

It’s astounding how much information has been written about Millennials and their closely related Gen Z cohorts. GenZers’ affinity with all things digital, from a very young age, gives them an incredibly wide view of the world. Especially what it has to offer in terms of food. The common pastime of Millennials, taking pictures of their favourite eats to share with friends, is being replaced with the GenZers asking restaurants questions about their food to determine if they can prepare it at home. Food service offerings are driving much of what interests this highly influential group and the trends that develop as a result.

Doug Oakey, Belmont’s Vice President of Retail Sales North America, has witnessed this younger generation’s food interest first-hand in his own family. He notes that there is a heightened interest in their dining experiences and that interesting food and beverage pairings are sought after and emulated at home. This group looking for unique offerings outside of the usual restaurant fare and are inspired by what they are experiencing.

From a retail perspective, Doug believes that, “If you can create a gourmet food experience at home, people will buy that product.” This suggests that products don’t have to be entirely new but rather reflect unique perspectives on existing products, similar to the way great chefs innovate at award-winning restaurants. For instance, the addition of a variety of sauce options to accompany food products is becoming a popular way to heighten an ordinary product’s flavour profile. Food service giant Starbucks now offers sriracha in small packets to add some heat to their everyday sandwiches, picking up on the widespread hot and spicy flavour trend. Retailers who offer products that align with food service offerings will gain points from young consumers wanting to recreate their most memorable food experiences.

One thing is very clear, these trendsetting digital natives like to be in control, they like to create, and they have an overdeveloped and inspired sense of do-it-yourself. They will continue to shift how we think about food and will set the pace for the exciting trends that develop from it.

Brian Hircock
President of Raining Communications
Belmont Marketing Group