Generation Alpha are the first generation entirely born in the 21st century. This generation is growing up in a data-centric world, where technology is ubiquitous. As a result, Generation Alpha are likely to be the most technologically savvy and diverse generation yet.
The first wave of Generation Alpha will reach adulthood by the 2030s. At this point, the global population is expected to be just under nine billion. Also, the world will have the highest-ever proportion of people over 60 years old. As a result, this generation will be coexisting alongside an aging population. Due to this, they will experience increased pressure on food systems and face challenges related to food safety and security.
Brands must familiarize themselves with the unique perspectives that Generation Alpha will offer. This includes their values regarding the issues of climate change, social justice, and technology. Also, brands must consider future consumerism and how this will significantly influence and shape the food and drink industry.
The Food and Drink Industry
With the rise of e-commerce and the increasing adoption of technology, the food and drink industry is likely to experience significant transformations. Generation Alpha will drive online shopping trends, and seek more convenience, personalization, and sustainable products. The industry will focus on providing seamless online experiences, utilizing data analytics to understand consumer preferences better and offer personalized and customized products.
Technology and Social Media
Automation and AI will continue to advance and intertwine with various aspects of daily life. Generation Alpha will witness the expansion of AI-powered virtual assistants, making them an integral part of their daily routines. AI will assist this generation in decision-making, learning, and providing personalized experiences, which will create a more efficient and intelligent society. Moreover, it is likely that this generation will grow up immersed in advanced technologies like AI and VR. This generation’s familiarity with technology will drive further innovation in these areas.
With the rise of social media and the internet, Generation Alpha could face overexposure to technology and digital media. This could lead to issues of excessive screen time from a young age. As a result, there is a high possibility that this generation will face health implications and other challenges such as addiction, cyberbullying, and other negative online experiences.
Alternatively, it is important to note that with the presence of social media, Generation Alpha will be exposed to a wider range of information and opinions.
Healthy Living and COVID-19
Generation Alpha are likely to prioritize healthy living and sustainability. This will influence the food and drink industry to continue with the growing demand for healthier food options and ingredients, environmentally friendly claims and credentials, and sustainable sourcing. Technology will play a role in promoting wellness, with wearable devices and health-tracking apps becoming more prevalent. Additionally, education on mental health and well-being will be emphasized for this generation, due to the links with an over-exposure to social media.
Generation Alpha will experience the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption and remote learning and working. As a result, flexibility and adaptability will be ingrained in their approach to work, education, and life.
Additionally, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be seen through aspects of socialization, and emotional and cognitive development for Generation Alpha, in comparison with other generations.
Overall, Generation Alpha will drive technological advancements, emphasize sustainability and wellness, and push for societal improvements. Their digital fluency, tech-savviness, and social consciousness will result in a future defined by innovation, connectivity, and resilience.