Vegetable brands are missing out on Gen Z consumers

Across markets, Gen Z consumers are not eating their veggies. Despite higher interest in plant-based eating, these consumers are less likely than their older counterparts to say they are eating vegetables of any kind. Gen Zs may believe that they are getting enough veggies from other parts of their diets, like plant-based alternatives or “green” smoothies. Vegetable brands are missing an opportunity to help this generation understand the importance of “actual” vegetables in their diets.

Gen Zs have their reasons for eschewing vegetables
Preparing them is hard work
According to Mintel research on vegetables, less than one in five Gen Z consumers say they avoid preparing vegetables because it is a hassle, vs one in 10 of all consumers. Gen Zs likely lack experience and confidence in the kitchen.

They aren’t seen as tasty
Three in 10 US Gen Zs say it is hard for them to make vegetables taste good. They likely do not have a repertoire of recipes to bring out the flavor in veg, which is potentially the reason more than a quarter of US Gen Zs say eating enough vegetables feels like a chore.

Vegetables aren’t targeting them
Gen Zs are learning about the world in new ways, such as TikTok or influencers. They may not be exposed to – or respond to – traditional marketing methods.

They may lack nutritional education
Schools have cut back on home ec and other “basic” education, where students typically learn about nutrition. Brands may take for granted that Gen Zs even know what role vegetables play in a balanced diet.

Help Gen Z see the need for vegetables
Vegetable brands may be taking for granted that all consumers understand how to create a healthy diet, but this message may not be resonating with Gen Zs. This generation is drawn to plant-based diets, but they may not understand why fiber-rich whole vegetables should be part of their overall eating.

There seems to be a disconnect between “plant-based” and “vegetable-rich,” and vegetable brands should do more to help Gen Zs see the need for vegetables in a way that will resonate with them.

Tap into influencers to reach Gen Zs
Gen Zs may not be exposed to or respond to traditional marketing, but they are active on social media. In Brazil, nearly two-thirds of 16-20s say they use social media to learn about new products and services, and in the UK, more than three-quarters of Gen Zs think brands can improve their image by partnering with the right social media personalities.

Vegetable brands can take advantage of this belief in the power of social media to reach Gen Zs where they are. TikTok is one option with great potential.

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