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Meet Gen Z: New Products Draw New Customers

Claire Lentsch
Claire Lentsch

by Claire Lentsch/guest columnist

Consumers gravitate toward companies that innovatively create change. When it comes to finding ways to revise, present and sell a product, there are several things to consider. How is the consumer accessed? What message are consumers receiving? Does the appearance of the product accurately represent the company? What are the ethical costs of production?

Companies actively seeking to improve, develop and give back draw in consumers. Generation Z recognizes and supports companies that push for change. By addressing issues that go beyond the grocery aisle, companies make deeper connections with their consumers. Be a part of the conversation.

Access to the shopper

There are more ways than ever before to access consumers. Social media is omnipresent. It is impossible to go five minutes on a phone without seeing some sort of advertisement. What do advertisements say about the company?

Online shopping is becoming the most popular way of getting what is needed without leaving the house. It is largely popular because most people don’t have time to go into stores and aimlessly wander up and down aisles.

Online shopping is smart shopping. Shop from anywhere, on any device, from thousands of websites. Best yet, it fits with the consumers’ schedules because the internet never closes. If a company wants to stay relevant, offering some sort of online shopping is mandatory. Providing convenience is key.

Message received

Along with convenience, it is important to understand the message companies are sending to consumers. Do these companies truly have the best intentions? How are their workers being paid? Are the steps of production sustainable? Is care and thought put into every action?

The best way to sell a product is to sell a story with it. Connect with consumers and give them confidence in their purchasing decisions. Companies should show their consumers they are a company worth investing in beyond a specific product. Create a personal bond with consumers.

Company appearance

Consumers want to know the companies they are investing in. Create a mission everyone can support. Less is more. Transparency is trust. Stand out by standing up.

Generation Z consumers are drawn to natural, healthy and ethical products that put the environment first. The word “natural” has several meanings but simplicity is key. When it comes to promoting health benefits, keep it simple while using positive words, like “boosts” or “increases.” Healthy products are what these young consumers want. Good for the planet, good for the people.

True cost of production

Cost goes beyond the price tag. Consumers want to know how the environment is being affected, how workers are treated and the true intentions behind a product.

Consumers understand that ensuring the quality of a company may cause prices to rise.

Generation Z is driven by ethics. These consumers conduct research to find the backstory about where their products come from.

Generation Z is extremely future-focused, especially when it concerns the earth. Environmental awareness is skyrocketing with them. This factor greatly effects purchasing decisions because people want to invest in companies that invest in the environment.

More importantly, people want to be recognized for helping to protect the environment. Visibility of consumption is a major factor in purchasing decisions.

There are two reasons why people might further invest in environmentally-friendly companies. First, those who truly are passionate about the environment will buy the products, so they know they are making a difference. The second is the desire to be recognized for buying products that exaggerate the idea of the environment first. The perception of others drives purchasing decisions.

Shoppers invest in companies that access and provide options that are convenient to their lifestyles. The story of the product is just as important as the product itself. The company’s ethics will determine if Generation Z will invest or find a different source.

Editor’s note: Claire Lentsch has been named a Land O’Lakes 2019 Emerging Leader. She is one of six college sophomores from six universities who were selected from a competitive field of candidates for the fifth class of the Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security Program. Each emerging leader will be paired with a mentor from Land O’Lakes to become an ambassador for the agriculture and food industries. The emerging leaders are pursuing degrees in fields from food science to supply chain to biological and agricultural engineering. Lentsch attends the University of

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