Third of Gen Z Believe Family Mealtimes are Outdated

A survey has revealed that Generation Z has very different attitudes to cooking, eating and shopping, than previous generations.

The poll, commissioned by food magazine Olive, reveals that Gen Z – born between 1997 and 2012 – feel that sitting down at the table for a family meal is outdated, and choose to eat when they are hungry instead of at set times.

There are several other mealtime habits that Generation Z feel are outdated:

  • 35% Having alcohol with every main meal
  • 31% Having a pudding with every main meal
  • 31% Eating three meals a day at set times
  • 24% Afternoon tea
  • 24% Meat and two veg for dinner

New traditions are replacing old when it comes to family mealtimes too, with 32% saying that sitting down all together as a family or group for every meal is an old-fashioned way of eating, and almost a third think the same of having three meals a day at set times.

However, not all older people’s meal habits are unloved by Zoomers. Out of those polled, 44% said they appreciated how their parents and grandparents sat down to eat as a family, while 39% enjoyed cooking from scratch.

It seems that Gen Z likes their food to look amazing with 61% saying they choose to cook certain meals because they will look good in online posts, and 52% order aesthetically pleasing restaurant items for the same reason.

A whopping 68% say they are most likely to get recipe inspiration from TikTok. By comparison, 54% prefer to find new dishes via YouTube and 49% turn to Instagram.

There’s also a clear gender split, with females more likely than males to use TikTok (72% vs 56%), and vice versa for YouTube (62% vs 53%).

Christine Hayes, of Olive publishers Immediate Media, said: “Every generation approaches food in a new way. It’s fascinating to see how Gen Z has embraced the idea that food should be enticing to look at. The results reveal a picture of a generation who think and care deeply about food and drink – and that is reason enough to celebrate.”