Psychographics: Future-Proofing Food by Targeting Gen Food
By Kristie Sigler, North American Food, Agribusiness and Beverage Lead, FleishmanHillard
This year will mark my (gulp) 25th year in the food industry. There have been so many changes in
what and how we eat and shop, but perhaps the greatest change is in food communications.
Not just the channels, although we have watched weekly circulars become targeted Instagram
offers, but most importantly our target consumer. When I started, it was all about a 25-54-year-
old middle income mom. And now, we target. EVERYONE. Four generations actively shop in
your stores. Those with food intolerances, on a cleanse and following ketogenic diets are fans
of your concept. How can you target everyone? Our latest research says shift to targeting “Gen Food.”
Who is “Gen Food”? These engaged consumers are not defined by demographics, but rather are an emerging cultural dynamic rooted in a collective set of values motivating them to take more control over food choices and behaviors for themselves and future generations. By focusing on what UNITES these consumers, you can maximize your marketing and drive sales
Food isn’t functional, it defines them. Nearly 1 in 2 millennials and 35% of all consumers strongly agree with the statement “Food Defines Me and What I Believe In.” This may explain why these consumers are constantly seeking to learn more about how food is produced and also feel compelled to share all they have learned.
They balance “High Tech” & “High Touch.” Yes, they are learning knife skills via YouTube
videos, but they are also taking cooking classes and planning vacations around food experiences.
You and they share responsibility to improve what and how we eat. More than 80% agree they can make a difference in the quality of food eaten and how it is grown. They want to help
you make a difference, but they don’t know how—40% of them say they don’t know what to
So how do you tap into Gen Food to grow your business? Tell your food’s story, provide online
and in real-life experiences and partner with them as you take on social responsibility programming. Focusing on food’s uniting power instead of demographics that differentiate consumers is the new way to win.