Majority of Gen Zers and Millennials are considering the switch to free from in 2024

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

84% of Gen Zers claim to be willing to give free from products a go this year. Pic: GettyImages/Siberian Art
84% of Gen Zers claim to be willing to give free from products a go this year. Pic: GettyImages/Siberian Art

Related tags BakeAway free from pancakes Breakfast Dairy alternatives Pancake Day

A recent poll of 2,000 Brits by BakeAway highlights the generational differences when it comes to alternative nutrition trends – with Gen Zers most likely to try a free from product this year; Millennials considering the dietary switch; and Boomers being the most reluctant generation.

Data from the UK pastry, dough and pancake producer reveals 79% of Gen Zers have never tried a free from product, however, 84% claim to be willing to give it a go this year, thanks to the perceived health benefits (65%). While some are even considering switching up their lifestyle to adopt a full on free from lifestyle in 2024, 41% are still hesitant, citing these products might not hit the mark when it comes to taste and flavor.

63% of Millennials have considered switching to a free from diet due to the health benefits.

Conversely, Baby Boomers are the most reluctant generation to completely switch, with only 40% willing to do so. The hesitation is cited as cost.

The most important meal of the day

Getty Images - Indian grandfather and boy eating breakfast Wavebreakmedia
Pic: GettyImages/Wavebreakmedia

Millennials are the biggest breakfast enthusiasts. 43% believe it sets them up for the day; 42% of parents with children under 18 reject the notion of skipping breakfast; and 34% contend it’s healthiest meal of the day.

BakeAway’s research also found that when it comes to milk preferences, cow’s milk is the preferred choice across all three generations (55% Gen Z; 57% Millennials; 78% Baby Boomers).

Gen Zers are the most likely to opt for alternatives (23% almond milk; 16% oat milk; 11% soy milk; 5% coconut milk). Over a quarter of this generation are positing about ditching the dairy completely, thanks to the benefits it will have on the environment. The data confirms the younger generations are more conscious of their environmental choices and have a higher probability of making changes to their diets that positively benefit the planet, too.

In line with these findings, BakeAway launched pancake brand OaYeah! last year​ to answer the increasing consumer need for free from breakfast options.

The brand uses oat milk alternative Oat-no-M!lk, which makes the pancakes dairy-free and compliant with the UK’s HFSS guidelines, highlighting a notable 45% decrease in both saturated fat and sugar compared to conventional options.

More open-minded

Ladies looking at labels VLG
Pic: GettyImages/VLG

“It’s great to see consumer food choices shifting to a more open-minded approach to the free from category, with many trying alternative milks and free from products,” said BakeAway marketing manager Jennie Bosson.

“However, it’s important that as a nation we embrace flavors that not only nourish our cravings but make a commitment to a greener, more sustainable world.

“On fun foodie days – such as Pancake Day (13 Feb) – those who avoid dairy have a delicious, fuss-free option with OaYeah! readymade pancakes. There’s no better time to give healthier, greener options a try.”

BakeAway started life in 2010 as a family business producing private label pastry. The company was acquired by the Cérélia group in 2016, growing the scale of its offering to include private label pizza dough, cookie dough and chilled and frozen pancakes.

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