They grew up with mobile phones, wireless technology, and streaming shows on Netflix. Some have hardly any recollection of a pre-9/11 world, when you could show up at the airport just a few minutes before a flight and still make it on time. No, we’re not talking about millennials here. That generation will soon be ‘over the hill’ and owns homes, has children of their own, and holds mid to executive level leadership positions. We’re talking about Generation Z.
Born in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Generation Z (Gen Z) -- like those before them -- has specific likes and dislikes. That includes their tastes in beverages. When having vending machines installed, it’s important to consider these preferences. Especially if your business or location caters to this age group, such as student housing facilities or certain apartment communities. There are two important factors to consider when requesting vending services that will largely be used by Gen Zers.
Their Relationship with Technology
Modern technology is practically in the DNA of Gen Z, with mobile being a chromosome. In fact, 45% receive a cell phone plan between the ages of 10 and 12. They’re not just making calls and sending text messages, either. As they get older, the use of social media becomes central to their lives, where they’re not only able to connect with friends, but interact with brands and even make purchases through mobile payment apps.
When someone in this age group comes across a vending machine that’s older than they are, do you think they will be more or less inclined to use it? Although Gen Zers do use cash, they’re considered to be at the forefront of the digital payment revolution. Providing vending machines that have mobile payment options, or at least credit card readers, will make it more appealing for them to use.
Their Beverages of Choice
The typical lineup of soft drinks likely won’t cut it with Gen Z. According to Technomics, this generation prefers beverages that provide a boost of energy, mainly coffee. Cold brew or iced is a favorite, and having your vending machine stocked with them is a good idea. This rings especially true for student housing facilities.
Behind coffee, this age group likes their smoothies and sports drinks. Traditional sodas are at the bottom of their list of preferences. This is likely due to the shift in public thinking about health and the consequences of sugary soft drinks.
Meet Them Halfway
Every new generation comes with its list of preferences. Gen Z is no different. Ignoring the trends will likely leave your vending machines full of undesirable options. But stocking equipment with only cold brew coffee isn’t a good strategy either. Meet them in the middle and have a good product mix that offers enough variety.