Top 5 Differences Between Millennials and Gen Z

April’s main feature, “Mighty & Mysterious Generation Z,” written by several key contributors, is all about the generation to which the bulk of your students belong and discussing their needs opposed to the needs of those who came before, the infamous Millennials. The below article by Communications Coordinator Rachel O’Connell contrasts those two food-defining groups, Millennials versus Generation Z. 


Gen Z:

A. Health is the key driver for food. They have invested interested in developing healthy eating and exercise habits and in looking for nutritious, less-processed food.       A. Flavor and cravability are the key drivers for food. Generation Z has no incentive to eat healthy, since they have their entire lives to make better eating choices. The focus for them is less on what is nutritious and more about what tastes best.
B. International food is a passionate interest, requiring pursuit. Millennials are of two-worlds—they began getting health and food habits at home and from school, but the advent of the internet exposed them to greater, more global eating opportunities. B. International cuisine is a given. Unlike Millennials, Generation Z has never known a world without the internet and without diverse eating opportunities. Online takeout hubs, such as GrubHub, enable Gen Z to get global cuisine at the click of a button.
C. They enjoy cooking, and 60% claim they do all the cooking in their household. C. Since Gen Z teens and tweens are not yet meal providers, and since food is so available online, few of them have explored their own cooking skills.
D. Millennials are price conscious and motivated to save. “As-good-as” store brands have wide appeal, especially to the 60% of Millennials living away from home. D. They are motivated to have experiences. Of their available capital, Gen Z spent 36% of it on food and restaurants, adding up to a cool $16 billion last year. This is, in part, due to the “Instagram” effect, causing teens view the constantly updated streams of excitement and activity as a competition.
E. They like a brand story, but it doesn’t make them brand loyal. Price often trumps a good narrative or social cause. E. Generation Z is very brand loyal and has a heightened interest in social responsibility. They want to put their money toward products that give back and give these consumers a sense of helping to change the world.

Contact Us

2900 S. Quincy Street, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22206  

Tel (703) 824-3000
Fax (703) 824-3015

> For The Media

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Read the latest news and developments facing the school nutrition industry, as well as stay on top of important trends and resources.


> Read the Latest Newsletters

SNA State Associations

The School Nutrition Association has a presence in every state across the country. View links to many of the state associations to find out more about what SNA is doing nationwide. 

> Learn More