Macphie | Insight | Gen Z and veganism

by Diane Cosgrove

It seems as if the entire world is mesmerised by vegan cuisine.

According to the Vegetarian Society research, 14% of people are identifying as vegetarian and 7% as vegan in the UK today.

A drill down into the figures shows that young people are eight times more likely than their parents to opt for vegan food and they are the group driving the current trend for a diet free from animal derivatives.

Social media

Generation Z is the grouping of young people born between 1996 and 2002.  It was brought up on social media, is more globally aware than other groups, is very committed to causes it believes in and has high expectations of any group with which it does business.

It is also ethically aware, Instagrams its meals and is one of the major driving forces in food trends today.

Anna Massie is Senior Category Marketing Manager for Macphie’s On the Go channel.

She said: “Generation Z has proved itself to be a formidable influencer. It is a bold early adopter of new flavours and textures.

“Food has to be ethical, but it also has to taste great and look attractive on Instagram feeds.

“Generation Z cares about sustainability. It is active in campaigns such as the one against single use plastic straws and it places great emphasis on traceability of ingredients, as they want to know where the ingredients are from.”

Vegan cakes and other treats

The Macphie research and development team works to develop products that will meet the upcoming trends.

It has produced the UK’s first range of vegan-certified cake mixes and frostings to meet the demand for vegan snacks that satisfy Generation Z’s ethical demands.

“Young people are looking for a convenient and indulgent treat that makes them feel they are doing the right thing, either by their ethics or health,” said Anna.

“This is vitally important to the end consumer, so we became the first in the UK to have our mixes and frostings range certified as vegan by the Vegetarian Society.”

Anna feels this is a trend that is likely to continue.

“The trend for food that meets specific dietary requirements, whether it is in a milkshake or a muffin, is likely to get even stronger next year.”

Fortified food

Interestingly, whilst Generation Z is sure what they don’t want in their food, they are very accepting of foods fortified with superfoods or nutrients.

They are also a driving force in the trend for fortified, individualised food, with protein the most instantly recognisable of the nutrients that are being added.

Turmeric is also popular, for its colour, taste and place in Indian herbalism.

Anna said; “Young people are happier than previous generations to have their food adapted to meet nutritional needs and are making decisions accordingly.

“This can be anything from adding protein to reducing sugar.

“But they still have an expectation on taste and it’s got to appeal visually.”

It would appear that protein-fortified snacks are only the beginning, and meeting the needs of Generation Z is not easy.

Find out how your business can cater to Generation Z with Macphie’s new vegan-certified cake mixes and frostings.