Gen Z consumers in Latin America are evolving rapidly and reshaping the market. And that fact has created a few challenges – as well as opportunities – for companies like those in the food sector.
According to Mitsui & Co.’s late 2022 report, Gen Z will significantly impact Latin America´s consumer market by the year 2030, when the generation reaches the working-age period.
Born between 1996 and 2012, Gen Zers are characterized for preferring authentic brands that align with their principles and values. That’s the reason why these young consumers look for sustainable and local products that are focused on aiding the environment and community.
Gen Z is looking for ways to contribute to environmental awareness and sustainable consumption. This generation often considers corporations’ transparency about their environmental and social impact more relevant than the product itself.
For example, Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo announced a recent corporate strategy that represents the interests of Gen Z, including soil regeneration through raw material procurement, food traceability and contributing to local communities.
On the other hand, most of Latin America´s Gen Zers are vegetarians and vegans besides the strong food culture they have around meat consumption. According to Mordor Intelligence, meat consumption has stagnated across Latin America and is expected to decrease in the coming years due to the health benefits of a plant-based diet and the growing concern about animal abuse for meat production.
For Gen Z it’s important that the food companies they purchase from provide easy access to their social responsibility practices.
For example, Gen Z consumers tend to support local food systems that include working with local farmers and suppliers, fair labor practices and promoting economic development and food security in within communities. This youthful generation values that local culture and practices are respected and the heritage of the community is maintained.
According to Sonomi Omori, analysist in Mitsui & Co., Gen Z consumer behavior is a way of realizing the youths’ own ideals and contributing to social responsibility through a brand.
One of the key characteristics of Gen Z is that the demographic prefers to engage digitally. Gen Zers search for complete information about a product or brand in digital channels and listen to opinions of friends, family and social media influencers before purchasing anything.
As a matter of fact, 30% of Gen Z consumers trust independent consumer reviews in Latin America, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer in its Lifestyles Survey. Therefore, marketing strategies must focus on testimonials and reviews more than traditional advertising.
Ultimately, the evolving Latin American Gen Z consumers value a brand that aligns with their principles and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. This represents a challenge to the food industry; companies must be able to understand Gen Z needs and build a brand image of care for environmental awareness and social consciousness.
Additionally, brands that invest in digital marketing strategies will have a strong impact on Gen Z by portraying themselves as transparent and open companies.
By taking these actions, the food industry can build trust and a strong relationship with this rapidly evolving generation of Latin American consumers.