News 13.10.2023

Need to Know

Introducing Gen Z as the sober generation, Gabriela Białkowska’s Foresight Friday and young shoppers are more likely to order groceries online.

Are Gen Z the sober generation?

Global – Gen Z are making the news for their non-drinking and non-smoking habits. Beyond implications for businesses across several sectors – hospitality, health and wellness, and of course, food and drink, Gen Z sobriety is also affecting governments through lost tax revenue.

‘A £4.7bn [$5.7bn, €5.4bn] has been removed from tax revenue alone as Gen Z embrace alternative ways to recreate, hang out and redefine pleasure,’ explains Martin Raymond, The Future Laboratory’s co-founder and editor-in-chief.

Delve deeper into our analysis of sober-forward innovations in No-lo Taste Lifts, Sober Bars, Tinned Tipples, and Care Collectives.

Find out more

LS:N Global members can find our latest Food and Drink Futures report here. LS:N Global is the trends and consumer foresight platform that powers The Future Laboratory’s services, which include our Strategy team who can help unpack the relevance of our research for your business. So get in touch with us now to find out how we can help you make a better, more resilient future happen.

Tree-inspired sculpture unveiled at Chengdu Biennale 2023

Tree.One by ecoLogicStudio, Chengdu Art Biennale, China Tree.One by ecoLogicStudio, Chengdu Art Biennale, China
Tree.One by ecoLogicStudio, Chengdu Art Biennale, China Tree.One by ecoLogicStudio, Chengdu Art Biennale, China

China ­– A stunning tree-like sculpture, Tree.One, has been unveiled at the Chengdu Biennale 2023. Commissioned by Hyundai Motor Co and created by architecture and design firm ecoLogicStudio, this 3D-printed structure mimics the form and function of a real tree.

Tree.One is composed of three parts: roots, trunk and canopy. It operates as a living system with the purpose of capturing carbon dioxide through the cultivation of liquid microalgae within intricately designed bioreactors integrated into its trunk. The trunk’s unique pleated design is inspired by the buttress tree root.

Tree.One’s artistic and functional synergy exemplifies the sculpture’s commitment to both art and utility. The project aims to encourage cities to integrate native flora into urban landscapes as a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial means of combatting pollution and climate change. It also stands as a powerful example of biomimicry, showing how we can innovate spatial design for our Future Spaces.

Strategic opportunity

The field of eco-technology is still in its nascent stage, but businesses should consider investing in it now as it offers ample opportunities and solutions to stave off problems associated with climate change in urban cities

Foresight Friday: Gabriela Białkowska, creative foresight analyst

Photography by The Future Laboratory, UK Photography by The Future Laboratory, UK

Every Friday, the Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, creative foresight analyst Gabriela Białkowska discusses bizarre cultivated meats, spicy flavours and background music.

: Primeval Foods is spicing up our dinner options with its innovative cultivated meat technology. You can now try lion, tiger or zebra flavors without any ecological or ethical concerns. But here’s some food for thought: if we can cultivate exotic animal meat, when will we see cultivated human meat on the menu? Read more in our Cultivated Meat Market report.

: Coca-Cola is adding a dash of excitement to the ready-to-drink (RTD) category with the introduction of spiced Coke for experience-seeking Gen Z consumers. Similarly, Heartbeat’s spicy rosé RTD is stirring interest, indicating a surge in spicy nuances across beverages. All kudos to the Snaxshot newsletter for being ahead of the curve on this spicy trend. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, now’s the time!

: As I write this with the soothing sound of Lofi Girl in the background, it’s hard for me to imagine switching to a different focus playlist. Perhaps the Lofi Girl and Lego, with a set made from plastic bricks, could become a new favourite? Apple’s attempt with the 90-minute long Study With Me video featuring actress Storm Reid is commendable, but would you trade your lofi vibes for Apple’s curation? I certainly won’t.

Quote of the week

'We could say ‘Let’s not make anything and just exist’ but that’s not realistic'

Daniel Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of lifestyle brand Space Available

Stat: US Gen Z are buying groceries online and collecting in-store

Photography by Ketut Subiyanto Photography by Ketut Subiyanto

US – A report analysing US adults’ grocery shopping habits has revealed Gen Z’s propensity for online food shopping. Almost three in four (74%) of the Gen Z individuals surveyed had purchased online groceries at least once in the past month and were more likely to have chosen cost-effective in-store pick-up.

Published in October 2023, the Morning Consult survey of 6,649 US adults found that in addition to shopping online more often, Gen Z shoppers are more likely to plan their weekly meals before shopping for groceries.

Despite not yet having the spending power of older generations, the research also reveals that Gen Z are less price-sensitive than older generations and less likely to be concerned about issues such as the cost of meat. Morning Consult suggests this is due to shopping for smaller households and fewer dependents, and therefore being less affected by inflation.

Gen Z’s digital fluency has the potential to disrupt industries across the board, and food retail is no exception. As explored in our Food Delivery Futures report, delivery services are having to rapidly adapt to meet the demand for convenience and hyper-personalisation when it comes to ordering food online.

Strategic opportunity

From searching for recipes on social media to using AI to build intelligent shopping lists or meal plans for the week, where can your brand connect with Gen Z consumers on their path to purchase?

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