IRI Gen Z Product Purchase Influencers June2021A few years ago, research showed that Gen Z were making more transactions, on average, than older age groups, as well as staying relatively competitive with those older consumers when it came to the average spend per transaction. But where is this generation of spenders learning about new products and what’s most likely to inspire them to buy? Here’s what a report [pdf] from IRI found out.

The survey of US female-forward/non-binary respondents ages 17-23 found that recommendations from friends and family are most likely to get them to buy a new product — cited by 59% of respondents. Another 54% say that seeing a friend or family member using the product is likely to get them to buy the product.

These aren’t surprising results considering that friends and family have long been purchase influencers, as well as a trusted source of information about brands or services across all age groups.

Perhaps more surprising is that two-fifths (39%) of respondents say they are most likely to buy a product they learned about on TikTok videos. The popularity of TikTok with Gen Z is undeniable, with eMarketer estimating the number of users among this age group will surpass that of Instagram this year.

While some top brands are making their presence known on TikTok, user-generated content has helped some brands gain organic exposure on the platform. IRI’s report found that Pop Tart Bites had more than 44 million views from TikTok user-generated content, while Bang Energy Drink had close to 21 million views.

What is Gen Z Buying?

Beyond food, the most common purchase in the past 3 months by Gen Z respondents, three-quarters (74%) have bought personal care products. Respondents also report purchasing clothing or accessories (71%), beauty products (63%) and non-alcoholic beverages (58%), while fewer have bought household cleaning products (44%), laundry care products (44%) or office supplies (34%).

When asked to name the top-2 characteristics beyond taste and price that are most important when they consider buying food or a non-alcoholic beverage, the largest portion (38%) pointed to the brand caring about the environment and sustainability. Another third (34%) say that the brand understanding what they want or need is important, while a quarter (24%) need it to feel authentic.

Very few of these female-presenting respondents say that it was most important that the food or beverage they consider buying be marketed in a gender-sensitive or neutral way (3%) or have gender-neutral packaging (2%). That said, about 1 in 6 (17%) are more likely to buy brands that actively support gender equality issues than those that don’t, and about 1 in 8 (13%) would buy a gender-neutral product over a gender-specific product all else being equal.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 998 total female-forward/nonbinary respondents ages 17+ broken out by generation.

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