A new generation of chicken consumers has emerged. It’s called Generation Z and its members are presently between the ages of 2 and 22.

But this generation is not like the one before: the Millennials. Generation Z – also called Gen Z – has its own values, defining moments and behaviors, according to Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media.

BSM Media is a full-service marketing and media firm known for connecting brands with consumers through innovative and organic outreach program. Bailey was credited by Ad Age for creating the “mom marketing” niche. Bailey will discuss her views on Generation Z moms and ways the chicken industry can better connect with them at the 2019 Chicken Marketing Summit, to be held July 21-23, 2019, at the Belmond Charleston Place in Charleston, South Carolina.

A new consumer demographic

Bailey said the fact that members of Generation Z are now becoming parents is something most businesses have not realized, but it is one that businesses must now consider when marketing – and even developing – their products.

“When people think of Gen Z, they think of teenagers and college students, but they are graduating from college and they are of child-bearing age now,” Bailey explained. “I have a feeling that it took so long to figure out the Millennials – and some people are still trying to figure them out – that the Gen Z population is sneaking up.”

One myth about Generation Z is that its population will act just like the Millennials have and do. Bailey disagrees with that assessment, and even says “nothing can be further from the truth.”

The things that have impacted this generation as they have grown up are different than what impacted the Millennials, so Generation Z’s expectations and behaviors are different, Bailey explained.

Generation Z apt to innovate, collaborate

“I think some of the things that the poultry market and industry is really going to have to think about is that this younger generation is more aspirational. They’re more entrepreneurial in spirit as well. They’re more about collaborating with brands,” said Bailey.

The Generation Z family meal planner will not likely be content in watching a video on how to cook a chicken dinner, like the Millennials before them, Bailey said.

“They’re going to want to collaborate with the poultry industry and say 'this is how we want to cook chicken.' As consumers they might demand that chicken is suddenly sold in cubes instead of strips. They might decide that they want to collaborate and it be shredded instead of being sold in breasts.

“This is going to be different for any kind of industry. These consumers really like to be innovative and be creative, and they’re going to expect industries like the poultry industry to be creative and innovative with them,” Bailey said.

This could create logistical challenges for poultry processors and further processors, as Bailey said it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Generation Z mothers to want multiple chicken products in a single package, such as chicken breasts for the adults, chicken strips for the teenagers and chicken cubes for the toddlers.

“This population of consumers is going to demand different products. They’re going to force the industry to evaluate everything from production to delivery of the product,” said Bailey.

For the opportunity to hear more insights from Bailey, register for the 2019 Chicken Marketing Summit.