New research indicates that Gen Z and Millennials are leading a movement toward healthy eating amidst the current cost-of-living crisis by scaling back on non-essentials, including streaming services.

“In this era of escalating costs, luxuries become dispensable, but a nourishing, balanced diet does not. While entertainment and gadgets have their appeal, it’s a healthy food that Gen Z and Millennials prioritize in their hectic lifestyles,” said Signe Svanfeldt, lead nutritionist at Lifesum in a news release.

Healthy Eating v. Streaming Services

Lifesum’s 2024 State of Healthy Eating and Well-being Report, which explored consumer dietary habits, revealed the sacrifices Gen Z and Millennials are willing to make for healthier eating during the cost-of-living crisis, including fashion, tech, and streaming services.

Percentage of Gen Z and Millennials who would cut back on the following to prioritize spending on healthier food:

  • Fashion 62%
  • Tech and Gadgets 55%
  • Online Courses 37%
  • Streaming Services 36%
  • Travel 34%
  • Skincare and Beauty 30%

Lifesum noted that for Gen Z and Millennials, healthy eating has emerged as an affordable and accessible source of pleasure, particularly at a time when indulging in major experiences like travel may seem unattainable.

“Investing in health today can lead to long-term benefits, potentially reducing healthcare costs down the line,” said Signe. “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, health is becoming a significant focus and reflects a growing desire for self-care and responsible spending,” Signe added.

The Rise of the Experience Economy

Millennials and Gen Z are leading the shift towards healthier eating habits, as they juggle increasingly hectic lifestyles and seek novel experiences through food.

Economic challenges often compel individuals to reevaluate their expenditure patterns, directing their attention toward what they perceive as essential for their overall well-being.

Lifesum’s 2024 State of Healthy Eating and Wellbeing Report, based on a survey of 10,000 Gen Z and Millennials, unveiled that the experience economy significantly influences individuals, with healthy eating serving as a moment of respite and escape amidst the hustle of daily life.

Healthy Eating Impacting Work Outcomes

Healthy eating has become the dominant force in the food industry. Lifesum observed that the desire for well-being and nutritious food options are influencing other areas of people’s lives, for example, work – so much so that a staggering 71% of Gen Z and Millennials are prepared to quit their job tomorrow for one that better supports their well-being.

The Rise of Functional Foods

Highlighted as a significant trend, Lifesum revealed that Gen Z and Millennials are embracing functional foods that provide additional health benefits, such as improving digestion, boosting immunity, or enhancing cognitive function. The report indicates that 73% are consuming these foods to boost energy levels, 61% to enhance mental well-being, and 40% to promote better sleep.

Source: Lifesum