Products of the Future: What food & drink will we be eating in 10 years?

At WorldFood Moscow 2019, the Foresight Workshop will be examining what consumers will be buying in a decade’s time.

Today’s teenagers are the main shoppers of the future. But what do we really know about Gen Z, apart from their exposure to technology from an early age.

What should retail marketers think about today when trying to snag Gen Z’s loyalty in 10 years’ time?

Evgenia Shamis, founder of the RuGenerations research project, CEO of Sherpa S Pro, and co-founder of the Innovations and Clusters: Business opportunities international workshop, has been studying the above in-depth.

Evgenia will be moderating WorldFood Moscow’s Foresight Workshop in 2019. We spoke with Evgenia prior to the show to find out why such research into consumption habits is important, as well as what to expect during her session in 2019.

What practical value does generation theory hold for the food industry?

Evgenia Shamis: We’re not so much talking about generation theory, but about specific tools and practical solutions. You can offer solutions for groups from different areas, you can do gender studies, but generation theory works in large groups, regardless of gender or geography.

Decisions based on generation studies are actionable, and present an opportunity to develop more concrete approaches.

Generation theory is all based on values. It allows researchers to understand what representatives of what different groups want to see in stores and what they want to buy. This will be what we will talking about at WorldFood Moscow 2019. We will look at how good products and good stores look different for Gen X (born between 1963-1984), Gen Y/Millennials (born from 1984-2004), and Gen Z (born from 2003 onwards).

Why were you interested in speaking at WorldFood Moscow?

ES: Food is an interesting, important topic that I want to discuss with sector professionals, like manufacturers, suppliers, and food retailers. I will talk about trends, and we’ll discuss what to expect in the future.

I would like the market to become more targeted, focussed on the individual, so that the food industry mirrors consumer demand and interest.

How do values impact consumption?

ES: Let’s look at a simple example. Modern children hear a lot of messages about living a healthy lifestyle, about taking care of their health (although this doesn’t mean they will be healthy). By virtue of these embedded values from their upbringing, they will request healthy products when they become adults.

We will analyse such factors at WorldFood Moscow. We’ll get an understanding of what suits different generational groups.

Who is studying generation theory around the world? Why is it not accepted by the scientific community?

ES: The theory is poorly accepted by sociology and psychology researchers. This is understandable, since the theory is based on economics, the history of technology, history, political science, and cultural science.

It is a study of global picture of the world. It does not have qualitative and quantities analysis psychologists and sociologists need. It’s difficult to get answers here by traditional methods, because generational theory is a cross-disciplinary topic.

However, we have done research across 5,000 focus groups, and plan to work more with big data and machine learning.

What products will future buyers prefer once they reach adulthood? Which stores will they want to go to? What are the criteria for choosing these products?

ES: On September 6, we held a pre-Foresight Workshop, with participants from Gen X and Y. We got the most unexpected results about what products children aged between 12-13 years want to see, and what they think a good store looks like. We’ll try and create a forecast of what they will be spending their money on in 10 years’ time.

For the full scoop, be at WorldFood Moscow 2019. Click here to get your ticket.