Convenience Food to Generation Y Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

" (Guelph Food Technology Centre, 2008) This report additionally relates four "meta trends" in the packing industry which are those of:

1) Convenience;

2) Health and wellness;

3) Upscale experiences; and 4) Sustainability. (Guelph Food Technology Centre, 2008)

The work entitled: "Generational Change and Marketing Indicators" states that five decades ago "when supermarkets were 'stores of the future' retailers and manufacturers pretty much knew where to find their customers. Food came from food stores; drugs from drug stores and cooked meals were consumed at drive-in or sit-down restaurants." (Mogelonsky, nd) it is important to know where shoppers intend to buy their food today. Generation Y, at a total population of 72 million, is an important consideration for marketers. Potato chip shopping including tortilla chips and pretzels are stated to "round out the top three snack categories, with household penetration rates of 76 and 62% respectively." (Mogelonsky, nd)) Also noted is that Generation Y buys health bars and health sticks.

The report states that Generation Y consumers know both "where and how to get reliable food information, understand the importance of healthy eating, and will demand cutting edge convenient, exotic, vegetarian, and organic food options. By 2020, many Generation Y consumers will be forming households and starting families-purchasing food not only for themselves, but also for their spouses and young children." (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2008)

The Generation Y individual holds a perspective of cooking and dining at home as "a hobby or social even rather than an everyday occurrence." (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2008) it is predicted that meal planning cycles of Generation Y will be shorter than the meal planning cycles of their parents and that Generation Y will shop more frequently at the grocery store than did their parents. It is stated that Food product development by 2020 is expected to fulfill these consumers' desires for adventurous, ethnic, and ready-to-eat food products." (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2008)

The work entitled: "A Second Look at the Cold Food Chain...and its Implications" states that two basic consumer trends in the food industry which are long-lasting in nature are:

1) an expectation of freshness; and 2) the demand for convenience. (ProMar International, 2001)

Freshness expectations are that the ingredients will be fresh, freshly prepared, and preservative free and "even organic." (ProMar International, 2001) the demand for convenience is simply a demand that the food is "ready now." (ProMar International, 2001) the meals decision is stated to made "closer to the time of consumption" than ever before and that the "coming generation does not cook, they assemble." (ProMar International, 2001)

Implications to manufacturing, logistics and retail operations will therefore focus on:

1) Maintaining and shortening the cold food chain from farm to table to preserve quality;

2) Food safety; and 3) a different economic model. (ProMar International, 2001)

The work entitled: "Gen Y's Snack Behavior and Brand Preferences" states that:

Gen Yers are snacking machines;

Frequent visits to C-stores, among a wide range of points-of-sale;

Taste for quick fast food;

Want products that are for people of their age;

Fun and entertainment key;

Friends and Internet two main sources of purchasing information;

Non-traditional marketing, bold images, cutting edge music, emphasis on quality and uniqueness. (ProMar International, 2001)

Stated additionally is the fact that the:.." interplay between the various drivers for change will lead to a shift in the overall bases of competition, as well as in the overall distribution of power between the industry player types. The following table lists the bases of competition today as compared to the bases of competition by 2010.

Bases of Competition: Today vs. 2010

Source: ProMar International (2001)

The following chart shows the consumer segmentation filter for Individual Generation Y consumers.

Figure Consumer Segmentation Filter: Generation Y Individual Consumer

Source: ProMar International (2001)

The hotel industry is reporting that those marketing to members of Generation Y consumers need to keep in mind that "the traditional hotel dining room is no longer appealing...service is too slow, and the check is too high." (Strauss, 2005) Hoteliers are reported to be responding "with a multitude of convenience options, re-engineered menus and kitchens as well as a product that could be called the new hotel cafe." (Strauss, 2005 in the 2006 "Review of the UK Food Market" report, Ruth Huxley, a food industry analyst states adults under the age of 25 "eat fresh meta, fish, eggs, vegetables, salad and fruit the least regularly and are the most likely to eat ready meals and other convenience foods.

The report entitled: "Putting Generation Y in Focus" states that Generation Y is not only "larger than the baby boomer population...[but also] is showing signs of shopping patterns that promise to be every bit as unsettling as those of their parents and grandparents." (Sansole, 2005) Generation Y "is more diverse than any previous generation, with 25% non-white. Their tastes are equally diverse with Gen Y showing farm more interested in ethnic foods than any other group." (Sansole, 2005)

Generation Y however, "is not interested in cooking..." (Sansole, 2005) Sansole (2005) reports that Generation Y "...eats out more than any other group" and are "interested in eating healthier, even though much of their eating out is concentrated in quick-serve restaurants." (Sansole, 2005) Ten percent of Generation Y individuals frequent gourmet coffee shops three or more times per week as compared to only two percent of the previous Generation X (Sansole, 2005; paraphrased)


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