Food is a key component of a healthy lifestyle and, positively, 80% of Australians say they prioritise making healthy food choices. The key reasons Australians stop making healthy food choices, however, are the time it takes to prepare it (35%), that fresh produce costs more than packaged food (30%) and not knowing what to prepare (27%). For almost one in five Australians (19%) a key barrier to making healthy food choices is they have to prepare food for fussy eaters.
The health focus differs by generation
The fears younger Australians face are different to their older counterparts. Younger Australians are more likely than their older counterparts to be worried their lifestyle is too sedentary (79% Gen Z, 70% Gen Y, 60% Gen X, 45% Baby Boomers, 47% Builders). While younger generations are more likely to worry about their sedentary lifestyle, older generations are more likely to prioritise making healthy food choices (73% Gen Z, 76% Gen Y, 83% Gen X, 82% Baby Boomers and 90% Builders).
Younger generations getting creative in the kitchen
According to our research for Hello Fresh, three in four Australians (74%) are likely to prepare five or more of their seven weekly dinners at home. When it comes to being adventurous in the kitchen, younger generations are more likely than their older counterparts to cook with new recipes, explore different cuisines and flavours, add new ingredients to recipes and try new ways of cooking. This is likely a reflection of the life stage of these younger generations, that they have more time and can explore ways of cooking and eating. It is also reflective of the times they are being shaped in, where eating healthy and nutritious food is prioritised and shared among the social media platforms they regularly engage with.
The future of food for Generation Alpha – local, eco and healthy
Generation Alpha are part of an unintentional global experiment in which screens and voice assistants are their babysitters, entertainers and educational aids. Throughout their life, technology has existed to serve them, providing instant gratification to everything they seek. Alphas are growing up in households of smart devices, apps delivering food, and personalisation. Algorithms and personalisation are an expected part of their consumer experience. Over the coming years, they will transition from being voices of influence in the household to technological trendsetters with the economic power to match.
Australians are increasingly looking for ‘local’ in the products they buy and the foods they eat to connect more closely with their local communities. In the store of the future, Generation Alpha will be more likely to purchase local food when stores are visibly active in community engagement and the broader benefits of buying local are made clear. For example, if a local seafood market is known to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, Generation Alpha will be more likely to purchase from there, compared to another store or market that has no eco-credentials. It is likely they will continue the trend we are seeing today, where Australians actively look to support local businesses and minimise their environmental impact.