“Gen Z now represents the young adult market in Canada and will continue to grow in size and purchasing power in the years ahead. In many ways, they are similar to past generations – but their differences have important implications for the consumer market.
Specifically, their media habits, usage of digital technology and approach to supporting causes will force marketers to approach this generation differently than the consumers before them.”
–Scott Stewart, Associate Director, Lifestyles & Retail

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Where Gen Zs get their spending money.
  • What Gen Zs expect to do by the time they are 30.
  • Their sources of stress and how that compares to older generations.
  • How they think their personal skills compare to their peers.
  • Their usage frequency of YouTube and the types of videos they watch.
  • Their attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.
  • The ways in which they support causes/charities.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Category outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities
                  • There are more ways to connect with Gen Z than in past generations
                    • Gen Zs are willing to support causes with purchase behaviours
                      • Gen Zs are not unlike past generations
                        • Challenges
                          • Gen Zs grapple with stress and a lack of confidence and optimism
                            • As young adults, Gen Zs have complex finances
                            • Target Audience – By the Numbers

                              • A profile of Gen Z
                                • Gen Z is a racially diverse group
                                  • Figure 2: Race, by generation, 2022
                                • Most are students, while part-time employment is as common as full time
                                  • Figure 3: Student and employment status, Gen Z vs overall, 2022
                                • Most Gen Zs visit YouTube and Instagram every day
                                  • Figure 4: Sites/apps visited daily, Gen Z vs overall, 2022
                                • Gen Z’s political support is less top-heavy than average
                                  • Figure 5: National political party support, Gen Z vs overall, 2020
                              • Market Factors

                                • Housing is a unique issue for Gen Z
                                  • Figure 6: Current living situation, by generation, 2022
                                  • Figure 7: New housing price index, 2010-22
                                • Gen Zs are less concerned about inflation than others
                                  • Figure 8: Rising prices as a concern over the next six months, by generation, 2022
                                • COVID is also less of a worry for this generation
                                  • Figure 9: Concern about risk of exposure to COVID-19, 2022
                                • How the pandemic could create generational differences
                                  • Employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels
                                    • Figure 10: Unemployment rate (%), 15-19s vs 20-24s, 2019-22
                                  • A timeline of digital technology
                                  • Competitive Strategies

                                    • Indulging Gen Z’s demand for control
                                      • Figure 11: Intro Twitter post, 2022
                                    • Making it easy for Gen Z to share content
                                      • Figure 12: Spotify Instagram post, 2021
                                      • Figure 13: Getty Museum Twitter post, 2020
                                    • Enabling Gen Z to support causes in simple ways
                                      • Figure 14: Tentree Instagram post, 2022
                                      • Figure 15: Larry’s Coffee Instagram post, 2021
                                    • Using humour to connect with Gen Z on social media
                                      • Figure 16: McDonald’s Canada Twitter post, 2022
                                      • Figure 17: Bugles Twitter post, 2022
                                  • Marketing to Gen Z – Fast Facts

                                    • Gen Z’s Personal Finances

                                      • What makes this generation different
                                        • Income is complex for Gen Z
                                          • Figure 18: Sources of spending money, teens vs Gen Z, 2021/2022
                                          • Figure 19: Sources of spending money, students vs non-students, 2022
                                        • Cultural differences in sources of money
                                          • Figure 20: Sources of spending money, by race, 2022
                                        • Gen Z is in a unique financial situation at this point in their lives
                                          • Figure 21: Student debt and retirement (% agree), by generation, 2022
                                          • Figure 22: Scotiabank Instagram post, April 2022
                                        • Despite their age, Gen Z remains fiscally conservative
                                          • Figure 23: Preferred method of building financial savings, by generation, 2022
                                        • Using Gen Z’s finances as a way of understanding their mindset
                                        • Life Expectations

                                          • What makes this generation different
                                            • Gen Z may not be certain of their future, but trust their efforts will pay off
                                              • Figure 24: Attitudes towards life (% agree), by generation, 2022
                                              • Figure 25: Synergy Kombucha Instagram post, April 2022
                                            • Expectations for the years ahead
                                              • Figure 26: Expect to have done by age 30, 2022
                                            • Cultural differences in life expectations
                                              • Students should be a focal point for the travel industry
                                                • Figure 27: Expect to have done by age 30, by student status, 2022
                                                • Figure 28: Contiki Instagram post, 2022
                                              • Comparing Gen Z expectations to Millennial realities
                                                • Home ownership has become more difficult for first time buyers
                                                  • Figure 29: Expect to have done by age 30 vs did by age 30, Gen Z vs Millennials, 2022
                                                  • Figure 30: Ikea Canada Instagram post, 2020
                                              • Sources of Stress

                                                • What makes this generation different
                                                  • The stress of personal responsibilities
                                                    • Figure 31: Sources of stress: top three rank, 2022
                                                    • Figure 32: Personal responsibility sources of stress (NET: any rank), by generation, 2022
                                                  • Concerns about other people are a secondary source of stress
                                                    • Figure 33: Concerns about other people sources of stress (NET: any rank), by generation, 2022
                                                  • Friends are as big a focus as family among Gen Zs
                                                  • Perceptions of Personal Skills

                                                    • What makes this generation different
                                                      • Gen Z is overconfident about some skills, but lacks confidence in others
                                                        • Figure 34: Skills compared to others the same age, 2022
                                                      • Gen Z men are more confident in their abilities than women
                                                        • Figure 35: Above average skills compared to others the same age, by gender, 2022
                                                        • Figure 36: Lululemon Instagram post, April 2022
                                                      • Skill perceptions compared to older generations
                                                        • Gen Z is confidently tech savvy
                                                          • Figure 37: Above average skills compared to others the same age: digital, by generation, 2022
                                                        • Personal finances are not yet a strength for Gen Z
                                                          • Figure 38: Above average skills compared to others the same age: financial, by generation, 2022
                                                          • Figure 39: Questrade Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Gen Z can use support with mental health management
                                                          • Figure 40: Above average skills compared to others the same age: health, by generation, 2022
                                                        • Book smarts vs street smarts
                                                          • Figure 41: Above average skills compared to others the same age: book, social and maintenance skills, by generation, 2022
                                                          • Figure 42: Home Depot Canada Instagram post, 2022
                                                        • Day-to-day life skills
                                                          • Figure 43: Above average skills compared to others the same age: cooking, childcare and time management skills, by generation, 2022
                                                          • Figure 44: Rescue Time Twitter post, 2022
                                                        • Confidence jumps as teens become adults
                                                          • Figure 45: Above average skills compared to others the same age, teens vs Gen Z, 2021/2022
                                                          • Figure 46: Above average skills compared to others the same age, teens vs Gen Z, 2021/2022
                                                      • YouTube Usage and Preferences

                                                        • What makes this generation different
                                                          • Gen Z are heavy users of YouTube
                                                            • Figure 47: YouTube visit frequency, by generation, 2022
                                                            • Figure 48: Types of YouTube videos watched, 2022
                                                          • YouTube as a source of entertainment
                                                            • Figure 49: Types of YouTube videos watched: entertainment, by generation, 2022
                                                          • Gaming content is where Gen Z differs
                                                            • Figure 50: Types of YouTube videos watched: gaming and live streams, by generation, 2022
                                                          • YouTube as an informational resource is an opportunity for growth
                                                            • Figure 51: Types of YouTube videos watched: information, by generation, 2022
                                                          • Understanding unboxing
                                                          • Gen Z and Mental Health

                                                            • What makes this generation different
                                                              • Gen Z acknowledges the importance of mental health
                                                                • Figure 52: Mental health attitudes and behaviours (% agree), by generation, 2022
                                                              • Gen Z trails in confidence and optimism
                                                                • Figure 53: Confidence and optimism (% agree), by generation, 2022
                                                              • Confidence is lowest among women, the unemployed and those still living at home
                                                                • Figure 54: Gen Z: I am a confident person (% agree), by gender, employment status and living situation, 2022
                                                                • Figure 55: I am a confident person (% agree), by generation and gender, 2022
                                                              • Gen Z should be reminded to enjoy young adulthood
                                                                • Figure 56: Would you rather: go ahead or back in time, by generation, 2022
                                                            • How Gen Z Supports Causes

                                                              • What makes this generation different
                                                                • Gen Z prefers non-monetary support for their causes
                                                                  • Figure 57: Ways of supporting charities/causes in the past 12 months, by generation, 2022
                                                                • Online petitions will be a generational difference and indicative of Gen Z behaviours
                                                                  • Choosing the right cause for Gen Z
                                                                    • Figure 58: Would you rather: support an environmental or social equity cause, by generation, 2022
                                                                    • Figure 59: Chevrolet Canada Instagram post, February 2022
                                                                    • Figure 60: Mill Street Brewery Instagram post, 2022
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Terms

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