2050: How Foodservice Operators Can Remain Relevant with their Next Generation of Customers

In spite of nationalist movements, that are currently having a moment in western countries, the reality is that population growth is going to be driven by immigration. Generation Z will be the most racially diverse cohort the planet has ever known, many of them the children of immigrants or interracial marriages. With this demographic shift there will be a corresponding shift in the appetites of consumers across North America. Additionally concerns about climate change, the divide between rich and poor, and health concerns will become more relevant to food service operators and Millennials and Gen Z make those issues a priority. These changing customer concerns are going to put pressure on big chains to deliver food that appeals to the more diverse and adventurous taste-buds of several generations who ate sushi and dim sum as toddlers, who are also conscious of where their food is coming from and its impact on the planet.

As well as being culturally diverse, upcoming generations have never known a time when the Internet did not exist, and got their first smartphones before reaching double digits. The level of intuition when it comes to all things digital has raised expectations with this cohort around personalized, seamless service for even the simplest experience. As quickly as technology is evolving, this demographic is with it neck and neck, and even expects new technologies to exist that currently are only in the prototype or theoretical stages.

How can food service operators adjust to such enormous changes in such a short time frame?

The good news is that if foodservice brands get ahead of the curve, they stand to benefit from growth opportunities through new brands and new offerings within current models. In this white paper, we discuss five key directions for foodservice operators to consider as they navigate the future of their brands with a new breed of diverse, socially aware consumers who are looking for more than just a bang for their buck.

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