CEO and Co-Founder of Nibblish, Matthew Bennett, gave insights into Millennial and Gen Z shopping habits in the snacking industry, explaining many have opted to make micro-concessions rather than dramatic reductions in spending. Thirty percent of New Zealanders don't have a mortgage and, therefore, aren't experiencing the same pain driven by higher interest rates. Instead, this consumer group has a mindset centred around enjoying life on their terms, seeking moments of happiness to escape other macro stressors. Bennett gave examples, including the economic environment, inflation, uncertainty, fuel and the hangover from COVID.
As a result of this crisis fatigue, a pocket of premiumisation among Millennials and Gen Z has developed. Of course, these choices must be made in cohesion with their other concerns, primarily financial, where consumers are proving to be selectively frugal, choosing specifically which occasions they will indulge in and which occasions they make a concession. This has manifested into small everyday indulgences rather than large splurges, providing a moment of escapism from current or ongoing stressors in consumers' lives. For this group of consumers, there is real value in helping them set aside their troubles momentarily and focus on their key drivers: well-being, fun and novel experiences, and happiness.
"This is a coping mechanism referred to by psychologists as happiness micro-dosing," said Bennett.
Bennett continued that Millennial and Gen Z consumers are thinking hard about what they eat and are making choices based on what they believe will improve the world. This includes favouring natural products, ingredients, and natural sugars, all of which they want to have evidence for. Trust in brands is proving to be a significant driver for this group due to the vulnerabilities they feel from their macro environment. They are seeking safety, authenticity and transparency from brands.
We see a move from a marketing of 'promises' to a marketing of 'proof' when it comes to every aspect of the business including ingredients, respect for the environment, fair pay for farmers and animal welfare.
"We see a move from a marketing of 'promises' to a marketing of 'proof' when it comes to every aspect of the business including ingredients, respect for the environment, fair pay for farmers and animal welfare."
Read more about Matthew Bennett's insights from the September issue of Supermarket News, starting from page 26.