Today's college students, representing Generation Z, are paying more attention to their beverage choices. A study done by the Beverage Marketing Corp. (B.M.C.) and Fluent, a college marketing and insight agency, found that 43 percent of the current college students surveyed regularly read drink labels and 38 percent read them at least some of the time.
Students said their drink purchases were most influenced by labels that touted these health benefits:
All natural (52 percent)
Low calorie (37 percent)
Organic (36 percent)
Vitamin enhanced (31 percent)
Zero calorie (27 percent)
About half of the students said they also try to avoid artificial sweeteners, flavoring, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup.
Bottled water is currently the best seller among this age group. Of the students surveyed, 43 percent consumed it seven times or more per week, and 42 percent plan to drink more of it.
Coffee and tea filled the No. 2 and No. 3 spots on the list of Generation Z's most purchased beverages. These two drinks also topped the list of students' "pick-me-up" choices, followed by water and soda, which tied for third. Energy drinks came in fourth.
What drink is noticeably missing from the top of the most purchased list? Milk.
Fluid milk consumption has been trending downward for decades, and today's college students may very well have grown up in homes that did not drink milk on a regular basis. This could explain why dairy drinks are not something they gravitate to.
Milk offers many of the nutritional benefits young adults are looking for; the challenge is bringing them back to the dairy aisle. For dairy processors and marketers, opportunities lie within this age group if we can determine what types of dairy beverages will appeal to them most.
(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2016
May 9, 2016