I’m a Gen Z, NOT a Millennial and I love meat.

October 30, 2019

I’m a Gen Z, NOT a Millennial and I love meat.

by  

Giana Spear


I grew up in the time of Silly Bandz bracelets, Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers. You see, I was born in ‘97 – right on the cusp of the generation change, so I may look like a Millennial, but I have many different shopping and eating habits than my older counterparts. I am also unique because I come from a very meat heavy background. I live in an Italian household where meat is just as important as pasta. Along with my day job at Midan (where I get to spend my days working on social media), I am a waitress at Outback Steakhouse®. It’s safe to say I’m a meathead.

According to Midan’s Meat Consumer Segmentation 2.0 research, the Gen Z generation falls mainly into the segment of meat shoppers defined as Convenience Chasers. Essentially, we live a very fast-paced life with little to no time for meal prep or shopping. But our drive for convenience doesn’t mean we don’t like meat, we LOVE meat. When it comes to dinner, you can find meat at the center of our plate.  In fact, Midan’s Gen Z Profile Report shows Gen Zs have a higher daily consumption rate of meat than the other segments of meat eaters. It’s just more likely that we’ll say “YAY” to meal kits with pre-prepped food and “eh” to cooking a full meal.

I can’t tell you how often people say to me “You’re such a Millennial.” But you see, I’m not. But why is it important to understand the difference between Gen Zs and Millennials? Gen Zs are young; they don’t have the big bucks to

purchase the meat you’re selling, right? You have only half of the truth there. We are young, yes, but we are already influencing the buying process and redefining brand loyalty thanks to social media. The old adage of “once a customer, always a customer” no longer applies.  The Gen Z way is brand loyalty built on engagement (1). Here’s an example from my personal experience:

Chili’s has always been a go-to restaurant for me and my friends. I always order the same thing and never have to look at the menu (Chips and salsa and the Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadillas if you’re curious 😉). Unfortunately, there was a day the salsa was nothing like the usual and it was very upsetting. Me, being the social media expert I am, went straight to Twitter to express my distress. No more than 30 minutes later, Chili’s tweeted back to me with a link to their feedback form. About a month later I received $5 in Chili’s Dollars for the inconvenience.

This provided a seamless experience from start to finish. Yes, Chili’s made a mistake and the consistency of the salsa was off. But the customer service and interaction between the company and me made me feel heard. So to this day I’m still a loyal Chili’s customer.

So, while you may see me as just another kid, Chili’s and other smart businesses do not. As a Gen Z, my social influence gives me a powerful punch that gets noticed.

The tweet from Chili's in response to Giana's customer complaint

So, while you may see me as just another kid, Chili’s and other smart businesses do not. As a Gen Z, my social influence gives me a powerful punch that gets noticed.

There’s a learning in here for meat companies: Remember that research nugget that Gen Zs have a higher daily consumption rate of meat than other meat eaters? Now is the time to pay attention to my wants and needs because if you’re not, I’ll take my business to someone who is.

How are Gen Z s influencing your business?  Please leave a comment!

(1)(2017) Gen Z Brand Relationships, Jane Cheung, Dr. Trevor Davis, Eva Heukaeufer, IBM Institute for Business Value in conjunction with NRF National Retail Federation, https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/M2W7GWV6

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