Generation Z and their impact on the food service industry

Generation Z (also known as Gen Z) refers to the demographic cohort after Gen Y (Millennials), with the average birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. Gen Z grew up with the internet and social media right at their fingertips and their high level of digital literacy is reflected in the way they consume food and beverages. In fact, research from Mintel shows that Generation Z are “looking for a healthy lifestyle, enjoy eating international foods and are open to digital learning through online videos and other sources” [1].

Portability as a key benefit

While some GenZs are still too young to order their own food, their consumption patterns are starting to shift the way meals and snacks are being developed and promoted. Representing 25% of total food service traffic, GenZs perceive portability as being the key benefit when choosing a snack. [2] Aside from portability, added nutrients and health benefits are equally important. Adapting foods for quick on-the-go eating is important to consider, as 31% of Gen Z have no choice but to eat meals on the run [3].

Media habits

On average, Gen Zs use their smartphones more than any type of device, totaling to an average of 15.4 hours per week[4]. With the high levels of smartphone usage, the findings from NPD’s Delivering Digital Convenience report come as no surprise: Gen Zs are regular users of restaurant apps and delivery. In addition, 61% will look up restaurant menus online. While most GenZ are still young consumers, their purchasing power shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, the end of 2018 saw food-service delivery orders increase to 552 million dollars.

Healthy eating

In addition to on-the-go meals, healthy eating should not be underestimated either. Just like Millennials, GenZs are also showing growing concerns about their health. One quarter of teens aged 15-17 say they worry about staying healthy, while 49 per cent agreeing that they think drinking soft drinks is unhealthy.

Overall, GenZs are starting to reshape the world of food and beverage. While most research to date has focused on Millennials buying patterns and interests, GenZs are quickly maturing into a distinct audience with new interests and eating habits. In the following years, it will be interesting to see how this tech-driven generation will give rise to new trends and how this will affect the food and beverage industry

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Pizza for Millennials Part 3: Top 3 Dough Types for Menu Diversification

Pizza for Millennials Part 3

MiMi’s Pizza for Millennials is an 8 part blog series. We will be discussing the hottest trends dictated by the rapidly growing market segment that shook up the entire pizza industry: the millennials.

In this article, we will discuss 3 dough types that the Grocery and Foodservice industries should consider when planning a new addition to the menu.  Our top 3 addresses the gourmet, healthy eating and fast casual trends.

Top 3 dough types for menu diversification (and what trends they fit with)

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Article Highlights: 

  1. Focaccia: the authentic, Italian-style, all time classic that fits with the gourmet eating trend
  2. Flatbread: the understated, fine dining, better-for-you choice that fits with the healthy eating trend
  3. Panouzzo: the Italian twist on classic sandwich bread that fits with the fast casual trend

Traditional style pizza dough has its own well-known competitive advantage, but when you’re looking to diversify the menu, the type of dough you use can make a world of a difference.

Spicing up the menu comes in many shapes, textures and flavours, so when you’re planning your next best-selling dish, don’t stop at the toppings.

Here are 3 dough types for menu diversification that will work great for the Grocery and Foodservice industries who are looking to attract a new, dynamic kind of clientele: Millennials.

1. Focaccia: the authentic, Italian-style, all time classic

Fits with: the gourmet eating trend

Focaccia with sliced potatoes and balsamic caramelized onions
An authentic Italian-style focaccia topped with slow roasted sliced potatoes and balsamic caramelized onions.

Dive right into this authentic, Italian-style dish! The Focaccia is an all-time favourite and gets the first spot in our top picks due to its versatility; you may tailor it to the menu as an appetizer, entrée, side dish, standalone snack or even as a sandwich bread! Although similar to pizza dough, focaccia is different in texture, with a moist, cakelike interior and is served with fewer toppings.

How to top it: traditional Italian toppings include olive oil, herbs, salt, tomatoes, onions and olives.

MiMi Tip: A non-conventional way of serving focaccia: turn it into sandwich bread!

How to market it: Focaccias appeal to consumers who want to explore authentic Italian dishes and the thousands years of rich history behind them.  Focaccia fits in the gourmet eating trend.

Perfect as: appetizer, entrée, side dish, or snack

MiMi’s focaccias: Pomodoro Sauce, Greek (feta cheese, kalamata olives, tomatoes), potato/ rosemary, pepper medley and sizes: (6 x 9, 7 x 7, 12 x 9, 14 x 7)

MiMi’s stuffed focaccias: jalapeno & cheddar/ mozzarella, black olives/ onions & mozzarella and Pomodoro Sauce & Mozarella in sizes 12 x 4 and 6 x 9.

2. Flatbread: the understated, fine dining, better-for-you choice

Fits with: the healthy eating trend

Flatbreads are perfect as appetizers, entrees and even desserts!

This versatile piece gets the second spot in our countdown since it not only reduces baking times significantly, but it can completely transform even the most traditional dishes. Serving pizza on a thin, flatbread crust instantly creates a sophisticated dish.

How to top it: For a crust as simple as the flatbread, try bold, gourmet toppings like: artichokes, jalapeno peppers, arugula, avocado, Gouda cheese, steak or chorizo.

MiMi Tip: Put an understated, artisan-style spin on the classic Margherita pizza by serving it on a flatbread crust!

How to market it: Flatbreads fit perfectly with the health conscious consumers, since they are considerably thinner and lighter than traditional pizza dough. Flatbreads are also a wonderful choice to upgrade your menu for a fine dining experience.

Perfect as: appetizer, entrée, dessert

MiMi’s flatbreads: white, whole wheat, multigrain, garlic & rosemary, sundried tomato & basil, jalapeno & cheddar

3. Panouzzo: the Italian twist on classic sandwich bread

Fits with: the fast casual trend

Panouzzo Sandwich Bread
Elevate your on-the-go sandwiches!

Panouzzo is the combination of Focaccia and Calzone, turned into the perfect sandwich bread. Our very own Panouzzo has the same texture and delightful aroma of our famous award winning Focaccia!

Take the sandwich menu to a whole new level of crispiness by replacing traditional sandwich bread with this flavourful alternative.  Put your own spin on this purely Italian invention from the Campania region!

How to top it: use your choice of fresh meats, cheeses and an array of vegetables! Just like with any sandwich bread, the sky is your limit.

How to market it: The Panouzzo is a great match to the growing fast casual trend. Elevate your on-the-go sandwiches with this gourmet bread!

Perfect as: appetizer, entrée, dessert

MiMi Tip: Use your imagination to turn sandwich bread into an irresistible dessert item! Here’s our take on it: stuff the Panouzzo with Nutella, vanilla ice-cream and bananas!

MiMi’s Panouzzos: Sliders 2” x 2”, Burger 4” x 4”, Sandwich 4” x 6”, Hot Dog 3” x 6”, Long 5” x 18” and Garlic Spread 12” x 4”.

Bottom line? Dough is an essential element in menu diversification, as it can help your business stay in line with the latest trends of the industry! For best results, put your own creative spin on these versatile products!

For more information regarding MiMi Foods products, contact us at or 905-660-0010.