This is the initial installment in a new FMI blog series on Gen Z grocery shopping habits. This series will share compelling research and cover aspects ranging from shopping behaviors to attitudes about values.

By: Allison Febrey, Manager, Research & Insights, FMI

Gen Z Grocery Shopping Habits

I often wish I had a crystal ball to predict the future of grocery shopping. With food fads changing at a lightning pace, just staying on top of trends feels like falling behind. While I haven't found a reliable crystal ball yet, I can seek to better understand the people who are the future — Gen Z. To start my investigation of how Gen Z grocery shops, I walked around the perimeter of the grocery store with latest report releases of The Power of Meat, The Power of Seafood and The Power of Produce.

Meal Inspiration

Even youth cannot escape the eternal question of "what's for dinner." When it comes to meal inspiration, sources vary widely by generation. According to the Power of Produce, the most typical source of meal inspiration is routine meals (44%), but only 36% of Gen Z cite this as their primary influence. Instead, Gen Z turns to social media, especially TikTok.

48% of Gen Z draws meal inspiration from TikTok, compared to only 12% of Gen X.

TikTok as a Source of Meal Inspiration chart

Walking around to the seafood department, Gen Z seafood consumers also often look to social media for ideas or inspiration for cooking seafood – YouTube (44%), Instagram (30%), Pinterest (19%), Twitter (15%), Facebook (19%) or online influencers/celebrities (18%).


Following meal inspiration, is actually cooking the meal. According to the Power of Meat, Gen Z devotes less time to this than other generations. On average, Gen Z spends 24 minutes on cooking a weekday dinner, compared to 32 minutes overall.

Gen Z is getting more comfortable with cooking, despite spending a small amount of time on it. Forty-three percent report getting more comfortable cooking with seafood. A majority of Gen Z seafood consumers (57%) also say they have been cooking more with seafood in the past 12 months.

Purchase Behaviors

While at the grocery store, Gen Z shops a bit differently from other generations. Gen Z are more likely to buy bulk produce and larger family packs of meat/poultry.

According to Power of Produce, 24% of Gen Z are buying more loose/bulk produce compared to last year, compared to only 11% of Gen X.

Looking at the Power of Meat, some shoppers are changing the amount of meat they purchase in response to rising prices. Gen Z differs from older generations in buying larger family/bulk packs of meat.

Gen Z shopping meat/poultry chart

We will continue the Gen Z discussion through this blog series. You'll hear from me and other FMI subject matter experts as we illuminate different angles on the topic. Our goal is to help the food industry make informed business decisions and learn more about this generation entering adulthood.

Research Reports