Snack brands target Generation Z

The snack food market has seen an increasing number of entrants, especially those geared toward providing healthy alternatives to the foods that young people love. As the category swells with new competitors, the following legacy brands are expanding their strategies to capture Gen Z consumers, whose spending power and influence is increasing.


To keep up with the tastes and preferences of modern youth, Kashi launched the Kashi Crew—a group of 12- to 21-year-old Gen Z influencers—to help the brand understand their generational mindset. With input from these young consumers, the brand created a new snack called Organic Super Food Bites. The soft baked snack bites are made with wheat flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour, and sweet potato, and come in two flavors: chocolate or mixed berry. They’re a healthy alternative to other snacks on the market, which appeals to Zs, who have grown up with greater access to food knowledge and more plant-based snack alternatives.


As the number of brands and products on the market swells, modern youth are reacting to this sense of overstimulation by practicing minimalism, patronizing brandless brands, and—for Zs especially—rejecting traditional marketing. With this knowledge, Doritos launched an anti-ad campaign for its chips called “Another Level.” The ads were free of the brand’s name and logos and instead featured just a triangle filled with images that alluded to the different chip flavors (for example, a close-cropped image of cheese was a nod to Doritos' classic Nacho Cheese flavor). A 60-second commercial featured Doritos' logo-less chip bags and the line, “It’s the chip so iconic, we don’t need to name it.”


Lay’s Potato Chips has revamped its packaging in an effort to be Instagram-worthy. The redesign is the company’s first since 2007 and focuses on the brand’s marketability via social media. To appeal to Millennial and Gen Z consumers, the new chip bags have been designed with a smaller logo, less text, and new design elements shot from a ‘top down’ angle (which is the ultimate Instagram food photography angle). In addition to the new packaging, Lay’s also released a new flavor, Flamin’ Hot Dill Pickle, which combines young foodies’ penchant for spicy and pickled flavors.

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