Gen Z demands radical change from the food sector

A study of 2,000 young people aged 18–24 organised by EIT Food found that they felt they weren’t getting the support they need from educators, industry and policy makers to eat healthy.

Nearly eight in ten young people (78%) would have liked food labels to have clearer information on the way food is processed, not just the ingredients, while three-quarters (75%) thought food brands needed to be more transparent with consumers about their ingredients and processes.

Processed foods

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 79% considered processed foods unhealthy.

This focus on healthy eating has also sparked interest within young people to pursue careers in food education, innovation and equality, eschewing more traditional routes into the industry such as hospitality and farming.

Two-thirds of young people would consider taking a job in food education (66%) or food innovation (64%), the highest ranking of all roles across the food sector. Just under two thirds (61%), said they would be interested in taking a role that improved equality of food access.

Dr. Andy Zynga, chief executive of EIT Food, said: “Young people are fundamental for the transformation towards healthy and sustainable food systems. Yet our research clearly shows that they are being let down. Across Europe, 18–24 year olds find healthy food more expensive, harder to find on the go and lacking the information and advice they need to make informed nutritional decisions.

Empowering young people

“The voice and asks of this young and dynamic food generation need to be heard by everyone across the food sector, and they need to be involved and empowered in shaping what comes next.”