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The way we eat and drink reflects more than just personal taste – it’s a window into generational shifts.

Gen Z and millennials are reshaping the culinary landscape with a blend of innovation and cultural awareness. Exploring their unique tastes, trends and attitudes can offer an insight into the future of the food and drinks industry. Crucially, with these insights, fmcg companies can appeal to gen Z and millennials in a trusted, credible way.

1. Nourishing sleep

Gen Z and millennials prioritise sleep and nutrition. Our 2024 State of Healthy Eating and Wellbeing Report reveals 83% are willing to adjust their diets for better sleep, and 54% cite sleep quality as a top health goal.

Fmcg brands can cater to these priorities by offering products that include adaptogens, which are known to aid sleep, reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing. For example, snacks like granola bars or nut mixes can be infused with adaptogens. 

Transparency is key for this demographic, so clearly communicating the presence of adaptogenic ingredients and their benefits for sleep on product packaging, marketing materials and social media communications will go a long way.

Collaborating with wellness influencers and sleep experts will help to add credibility, catering to this generation’s quest for holistic wellness.

2. Better mental health

Poor mental health costs the UK economy a staggering £102bn. Gen Z and millennials, who face challenges including societal pressure from social media and an uncertain future, prioritise mental health.

According to our trends report, 71% focus on stress management. Stress also affects their career choices: 81% are considering leaving their jobs due to stress and 48% indicate work-related stress spills over into their personal lives.

Fmcg companies can position themselves as trusted allies in the journey towards improved mental and physical wellness, with product lines focused on stress reduction and relaxation solutions such as herbal teas, renowned for their calming effects. Exploring fortified foods and supplements that address specific nutritional deficiencies commonly linked to mental health challenges, such as vitamin D or magnesium supplements, can also help to appeal to gen Z and millennials.

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3. The rise and rise of functional foods

Our 2024 report reveals gen Z and millennials are increasingly turning to functional foods to meet health goals: 73% consume them for energy, 61% for mental wellbeing, and 40% for better sleep. Functional foods align with their lifestyles and offer extra health benefits like improved digestion or immunity.

Fmcg companies can embrace these preferences by offering mental health-supporting products. This could include food and drink enriched with adaptogens, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamins and minerals that are tailored to support digestive health, immune function, cognitive performance, or energy levels.

By utilising technology such as AI and data analytics, fmcg organisations can also create personalised functional foods or recommend products based on consumers’ health goals, preferences, and lifestyle factors.


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4. Hormonal health

Hormones impact everyone and regulate many processes in the body, including stress and productivity. It’s a topic that matters to gen Z and millennials, with 40% of them prepared to quit their job tomorrow for one that better supports their hormonal health.

Fmcg can appeal to this generation by raising awareness of the role of nutrition in hormone regulation, and by developing products formulated with ingredients that support hormonal balance. This could include foods rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc, which are known to play roles in hormone regulation.

Partnering with healthcare professionals, nutritionists and wellness experts to lend credibility to products and provide expert guidance on hormonal health can also help build consumer trust and confidence in a brand’s ability to support hormonal balance.

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5. Nourishing longevity

Gen Z and millennials are increasingly health-conscious and environmentally aware, and our trends report identified how they are trailblazing the longevity movement.

When asked about health and wellness goals, 51% of respondents claimed they actively engaged in practices that promote longevity and wellbeing, while 56% considered taking immediate action to enhance longevity.

Fmcg brands can use this intel to develop products that promote longevity by focusing on natural, organic ingredients, and sustainable packaging. Emphasising the healthspan benefits of ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, can also help to resonate with this audience.

6. Nutrition on a budget

Gen Z and millennials are prioritising health amidst rising living costs and economic uncertainty. Our 2024 report shows they’re cutting back on non-essentials like streaming services, including Netflix, to afford healthier eating. For example, 62% would sacrifice fashion, and 55% tech and gadgets, for better food.

Fmcg can tap into this by offering budget-friendly product lines that maintain quality – think store-brand options providing value without extra frills, appealing to price-conscious consumers without compromising quality.