Description

Stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business with Mintel’s US Marketing to Gen Z Report 2023. Our full report is packed with gen z consumer insights, the latest trends and consumer behaviors affecting how the generation responds to marketing. 

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analyzed in the full report and summarized the core topics.

Topics Covered in this Report

  • Gen Z attitudes and self-perceptions as a unique, trending generation, as well as their overall outlook on adult life.
  • Sources of Gen Z spending money and spending priorities.
  • The role health, specifically mental health, plays for Gen Z.
  • Skill development, which skills Gen Z has acquired from parents and which are continued areas of interest.
  • Tech use and interest, including social media use and perceptions.

Gen Z Consumer Trends and Marketing Opportunities

64% of Gen Z adults feel like life isn’t going as planned, and 54% of Gen Z teens feel like they missed out on typical teenage experiences because of the pandemic. The discontent expressed by Gen Z presents an opportunity for brands and marketers to tackle this feeling of disappointment head-on, and create messaging to Gen Z focused on easing this discontent.

Perhaps due to life not turning out as hoped, Gen Zs express an outsized interest in nostalgia. Almost two-thirds of Gen Z adults like to hold onto things that remind them of the past. Gen Zs’ interest in nostalgia is an area for brands to explore, particularly fashion and BPC.

Gen Zs are more likely than older generations to trust, use and be interested in future use of technology, in particular AI and the metaverse, highlighting the ever-expanding routes for communication and relevance for brands.

Who are Gen Z?

Mintel defines Generation Z as the generation born between 1997 and 2010. In 2022, members of Gen Z are between the ages of 13 and 26. For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has further defined Gen Z consumer segments as the following:

  • Gen Z teens: those aged 13-17
  • Gen Z adults: those aged 18-26

Note: Mintel parameters for defining Generation Z shifted in 2021. Prior to 2021, Mintel defined Generation Z as the generation born between 1995 and 2007.

Expert Analysis from an Industry Specialist

This report, written by Carol Wong-Li, a leading consumer research analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in Gen Z focused marketing.

Gen Zs continue to age into greater responsibility and spending power. Brands can help this group ease their discontent and sense of not being as far along as they should be in life. While the pandemic and economic uncertainty have been obstacles to Gen Z progress, they haven’t stifled optimism. Instead, they drive a quest for tools and skills.

Carol Wong-LiCarol Wong-Li
Director Consumers & Culture

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Dissatisfaction with the present allows for capitalizing on the future
                    • Figure 1: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Pandemic – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                    • Figure 2: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – General – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                  • Economic uncertainty drives yearning for responsible financial future
                    • Figure 3: Additional skills of interest – Save money, by age group, 2023
                  • Mental health is the top health priority for Gen Z adults
                    • Figure 4: Gen Z adult health priorities – Any rank*, 2023
                  • Gen Z wants to stand out, within limits
                    • Figure 5: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Fit in/stand out, 2023
                  • Market opportunities and competitive strategies
                    • Things regain importance
                      • Figure 6: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Splurge, 2023
                    • Quality holds sway among Gen Z teens
                      • Figure 7: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Spending priorities – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                    • Communication behavior implies preference for immediate/image-forward interaction
                      • Figure 8: Gen Z adult tech use, 2023
                    • Virtual tech adoption poised to grow
                      • Figure 9: Tech use and interest, by age group, 2023
                  • Gen Z by the Numbers

                    • Gen Z population nears 60 million in 2023
                      • Figure 10: US population by generation, 2018-28
                      • Figure 11: US population by generation, 2018-28
                    • Gen Z employment outpaces gen pop
                      • Figure 12: Employment, 2023
                    • More than a quarter of older Gen Z teens rely on a job for spending money
                      • Figure 13: Teen sources of spending money, by age, 2023
                    • Half of Gen Z adults rent their home
                      • Figure 14: Housing, 2023
                    • Two thirds of Gen Z adults are single
                      • Figure 15: Marital status, 2023
                    • A quarter of Gen Z adults are parents
                      • Figure 16: Parental status, 2023
                    • More than a quarter of Gen Z is non-White
                      • Figure 17: Distribution of US generations by race, 2023 (est)
                      • Figure 18: US population by race and Hispanic origin and generation, 2023
                      • Figure 19: Distribution of US generations by Hispanic origin, 2023 (est)
                      • Figure 20: Languages spoken at home, 2023
                  • Market Factors

                    • Gen Zs progress into adulthood slowed by financial uncertainty
                      • Figure 21: Concerns – Net – Any rank*, 2023
                    • Gen Zs less likely to identify their financial situation as healthy
                      • Figure 22: Financial situation, 2023
                    • Everyone is cutting back, Gen Zs are getting creative
                      • Figure 23: Spending behavior, 2023
                    • Savings support is an area of opportunity for Gen Z adults
                      • Figure 24: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Savings – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                  • Market Opportunities and Competitive Strategies

                    • Appealing to Gen Zs’ Me Mentality
                      • Figure 25: Personal style – Net – Any rank, 2023
                      • Figure 26: Denim Daze Eyeshadow Palette, 2023
                    • Giving Power to the (Gen Z) People
                      • Figure 27: Unreal Editor for Fortnite, 2023
                    • Responding to the Ownership Evolution
                      • Figure 28: Coachtopia, 2023
                  • The Gen Z Consumer – Fast Facts

                    • Gen Zs are ripe for guidance
                      • Parents of Gen Zs did a lot of heavy lifting
                        • More learning is desired
                          • Opportunity exists to help Gen Zs find their voice
                            • Nostalgia and self-care ring as messages of focus
                              • Gen Zs show outsized trust in/use of social media
                              • Attitudes and Self-perceptions

                                • Gen Zs feel like life isn’t playing out as planned
                                  • Figure 29: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Pandemic – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                  • Figure 30: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – General – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                • Gen Z adult women need support with work-life balance
                                  • Figure 31: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – General – Net – Any agree*, by gender, 2023
                                • Gen Z adults are highly attuned to nostalgia
                                  • Figure 32: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Nostalgia, 2023
                                • Gen Z adult men are particularly nostalgia-focused
                                  • Figure 33: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Nostalgia, by gender, 2023
                                • Majority of Gen Z adults prefer to stand out
                                  • Figure 34: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Fit in/stand out, 2023
                                • Individuality will be key for Black Gen Z adults
                                  • Figure 35: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Fit in/stand out, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
                                • Strong share of Gen Z adults are future focused
                                  • Figure 36: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Now/future, 2023
                              • Spending Priorities

                                • Most common spending category for Gen Z teens is snacks
                                  • Figure 37: Gen Z teen spending, 2023
                                • In-game video game purchases enhance the experience for Gen Z teen boys
                                  • Figure 38: Gen Z teen spending, by gender, 2023
                                • Personal care products are most resilient amid financial insecurity
                                  • Figure 39: Gen Z adult spending priorities, 2023
                                • Experiences still win out for Gen Z adults, but less so than gen pop
                                  • Figure 40: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Splurge, 2023
                                • Experiential messaging will most resonate with Black Gen Z adults
                                  • Figure 41: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Splurge, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
                                • Quality holds sway among Gen Z teens
                                  • Figure 42: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Spending priorities – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                • Gendered view of value starts young
                                  • Figure 43: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Spending priorities – Net – Any agree*, by gender, 2023
                                • Hispanic Gen Z teens appreciate low price
                                  • Figure 44: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Spending priorities – Net – Any agree*, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
                              • Health Priorities

                                • Gen Z adults prioritize mental health and self-care
                                  • Figure 45: Gen Z adult health priorities – Any rank*, 2023
                                • Gen Z adult women are particularly mental wellness focused
                                  • Figure 46: Gen Z adult health priorities – Any rank*, by gender, 2023
                              • Skills Acquired and Skills Desired

                                • Gen Z teens get strong health-related guidance
                                  • Figure 47: Skills acquired from parents, by age group, 2023
                                • Gen Z adults want to learn how to save for future; teens interested in health
                                  • Figure 48: Additional skills of interest, by age group, 2023
                                • Trust in parents strong among Gen Z teens
                                  • Figure 49: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Parents – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                • Gendered roles passed on to younger generations
                                  • Figure 50: Gen Z teen skills acquired from parents, by gender, 2023
                                  • Figure 51: Gen Z adult skills acquired from parents, by gender, 2023
                                  • Figure 52: Gen Z teen additional skills of interest, by gender, 2023
                                  • Figure 53: Gen Z adult additional skills of interest, by gender, 2023
                                • Target specific groups with skills outreach
                                  • Figure 54: Gen Z teen additional skills of interest, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
                                  • Figure 55: Gen Z adult additional skills of interest, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
                              • Outlook on Adult Life

                                • Future outlook strong among Gen Z teens
                                  • Figure 56: Gen Z teen attitudes and self-perceptions – Future – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                • Thoughts of college/travel spur excitement among Gen Z teens
                                  • Figure 57: Gen Z teen outlook on adult life, 2023
                                • Gen Z teen girls exhibit more excitement over adulthood
                                  • Figure 58: Gen Z teen outlook on adult life, by gender, 2023
                              • Tech Use and Interest

                                • Gen Z is more likely to post on social media than send email
                                  • Figure 59: Gen Z adult tech use, 2023
                                • One in 10 adult Gen Zs purchase something online at least once per day
                                  • Figure 60: Gen Z adult tech use – Frequency, 2023
                                • Gen Z women are particularly tech engaged
                                  • Figure 61: Gen Z adult tech use, by gender, 2023
                                • Engagement with virtual tech will only grow
                                  • Figure 62: Tech use and interest, by age group, 2023
                                  • Figure 63: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Technology – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                • Gen Z men drive AI/AR interest, shopping tech appeals to Gen Z women
                                  • Figure 64: Gen Z adult tech use and interest, by gender, 2023
                                  • Figure 65: Gen Z adult attitudes and self-perceptions – Technology – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                              • Social Media Perceptions

                                • Gen Z trust in social media outpaces gen pop, still small but growing
                                  • Figure 66: Attitudes and self-perceptions – Social media – Net – Any agree*, by age group, 2023
                                • YouTube leads for fun, TikTok may be losing relevance
                                  • Figure 67: Gen Z adult social media perceptions, 2023
                                  • Figure 68: Daily social media use, 2023
                                  • Figure 69: Gen Z teen social media perceptions, 2023
                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                • Data sources
                                  • Consumer survey data
                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                      • Abbreviations
                                        • Terms

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