While many people use the term “Millennial” as a bit of a blanket term for all young people, in actuality Millennials are now all grown up! Much of the time people are really talking about Generation Z, which covers anyone born in 1997 or later, so people 23 and under, where Millennials are now aged from 24 to 39.
The spending behaviours for these generations differs considerably compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers, largely due to the changing culture and increased reliance on technology. The food and drink industry in particular has started to see big shifts in the habits of younger customers, which businesses need to prepare for if they want to stay afloat in the coming decade.
Differences in coffee preference
As we have mentioned in a previous blog post, coffee preferences in the younger generations tends to steer more towards specialist coffees compared to Gen Xs and Baby Boomers. Gen Zs in particular will have grown up around coffee shop culture and will have likely known the difference between a flat white and a cappuccino by the time they were in high school, so are going to be much tougher to impress with fancy looking drinks. New coffee trends like single origin filter coffees and nitro cold brew are much more quickly adopted by younger customers, and they are also likely to spend more of their money on coffee than the more mature clientele.
Take away culture
Younger adults in the UK have been shown to have a much higher tendency to order take away or convenience foods, with 4 out of 5 shoppers having eaten a meal that wasn’t made at home in the last month. The rise of food delivery services such as UberEats and Deliveroo has caused a cultural shift towards the ease of food-to-go options, with 44% of 25-34 year olds having had food delivered to their home or office from companies like these in the last month. Millennials and Gen Z’s don’t necessarily have more disposable income than the older generations did when they were their age, so this change shows how much more value young people today place on saving time and energy.
How will this impact the coffee industry?
The emphasis on convenience in the food industry, particularly among younger people is likely to mean a stronger focus on services such as pre ordering and delivery services for coffee brands. Young generations may place a high value on their time, but they also have high quality expectations and are more likely to be interested in speciality coffee beverages. This means that the coffee industry should be embracing technology to help meet the demands of the market, both in terms of convenience and also quality assurance.
A great place to start looking at how technology can improve your business is with your coffee machines. WMF coffee machines use cutting edge automation technology to automatically grind and tamp the coffee to make sure every single espresso tastes perfect. From compact bean-to-cup machines like the WMF 1500S+ to the classic portafilter stylings of the WMF Espresso, there are options to suit any business. Download a brochure to see the full range of WMF coffee machines.