BY E. A. Sween
December 11, 2023

Three factors shape the consumer’s dining preferences:

• Consumer preferences
• The individual’s lifestyle
• Their generation

To ensure your product mix meets the needs of your consumers, you’ll need to strongly consider all these factors.

The data doesn’t lie. Consider the graph below; within the next decade, Gen Z and Millennials will represent 47% of the U.S. population. The buying power of this group is only increasing meaning we need to prioritize their wants and needs. Understanding their habits will help you get ahead and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive food industry.

According to a recent Y-Pulse survey*, convenience is king for Millennials and Gen Zers. These consumers have a high need to be on-the-go, with 71% preferring meal options that allow their busy lives to continue to move at a fast pace. However, in what may seem like a contradiction, they’re not eating alone in their cars or at home. Instead, they’re inclined to pick up their food and dine with friends and family.

This is not to say these consumers don’t value taste or cuisine variety. It is, however, to say the priority is in products that allow their lives to continue to evolve. The tradition of breaking bread with one’s community is not disappearing; it is evolving into a new age and food trends must adapt.

The influence this consumer segment has on the future on-the-go C-Store products cannot be overlooked. As you look at your current product assortment consider the following:

  • Does your product mix deliver the on-the-go experience consumers need?
  • Does your product mix enable or support the idea of community?
  • Does your product mix offer a variety of cuisines and flavors?

The right product mix, across all dayparts, is critical to maximizing the consumer experience. An improved consumer experience creates repeat customers who increase their spend with each visit. 


*Source: 2023 Y-Pulse Millenial/Gen Z Eating Habits online survey, 2101 respondents

E. A. Sween
BY E. A. Sween