Gen Z: How brands can support their unique needs

Gen Z: How brands can support their unique needs

March 20, 2023
3 min read

Gen Z is emerging as a key demographic for brands which is predicted to represent more than a quarter (27%) of the global workforce by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. These young consumers value ethics, sustainability and localism, with digital technology underpinning how they connect with people and brands. For instance, 31% of Indian Gen Z consumers believe that information obtained from social media or the internet is authentic.

These factors also influence their preferences in beauty and personal care as well as food and drink products, and their unique needs present opportunities for brands to tap into.

Transparency and credibility in beauty products stand out

Indian Gen Z consumers are highly engaged beauty users. One-third (33%) of this cohort have engaged with online beauty content, and the same proportion of women indicated their desire to add more facial skincare products to their routine. Our research also shows that they are more cognizant of new beauty trends than other generations, with 36% saying they have purchased products that claim to be clean.

New home-grown DTC brands like Gush are innovating with such trends to target this demographic. The vegan makeup brand claims to “uncomplicate makeup and make beauty joyful again”. In addition to its ‘clean’ positioning, the Gush Insider community offers an opportunity for its customers to co-create products and be part of the brand’s campaigns.

Gush (India)

Beyond engagement, Indian Gen Zs seek authenticity and transparency with 39% saying they would be willing to spend more on beauty products that provide information on ingredient sourcing. Brands will need to justify their choice of ingredients and educate these young consumers on the topical and environmental benefits. For example, Hello Sunday SPF (UK) justifies its use of reef-friendly synthetic sun filters by highlighting that they are more sustainable than natural mineral filters.

Hello Sunday SPF (UK)

‘Snackifying’ meal occasions

Gen Z is the super snacking generation and our research shows that a quarter of them do so more than once a day. Nearly half (49%) eat snacks to boost their moods while 30% agree they are a convenient meal replacement. 

Brands can make their breakfast routine tastier and more exciting by introducing snacks for breakfast either as an accompaniment or a replacement. Local brand Pop Bite Original Style Dosa Chips is said to be the first in the world to introduce dosa in chips format. In Japan, Pringles came up with an egg sandwich flavoured potato crisps. 

Pop Bite Original Style Dosa Chips (India); Mintel GNPD

To create differentiation, brands can offer added health benefits but not compromise on taste or indulgent factors. Added vitamins/minerals with a focus on brain cognitive performance, eye health, and gut health can be appealing to them. Good4U Focus Apple & Cinnamon is said to be a source of thiamine that contributes to the normal psychological function and helps support focus/attention (Netherlands).

Good4U Focus Apple & Cinnamon; Mintel GNPD

What we think

Gen Z is an important consumer cohort for FMCG brands and will hold significant purchasing power in the years to come. When it comes to beauty, the demand for authenticity and transparency is growing. Accessibility to beauty products through affordability will also become increasingly important for them. When it comes to food, Gen Zs are undoubtedly super-snackers, and they intend to snack healthily. As a result, snacks that are tasty but offer added vitamins/minerals and/or proteins as a value-add can appeal to this Gen Z segment. On top of this, brands can benefit from innovating with flavours that can enhance their snacking habits and incorporate snacks as part of meal occasions.

Tanya Rajani
Tanya Rajani

Tanya is Mintel’s Principal Beauty and Personal Care Analyst based in Mumbai. She specialises in analysing and providing insights into India’s beauty and personal care market and consumer trends.

Tulsi Joshi
Tulsi Joshi

Tulsi is Mintel’s Senior Food & Drink Analyst based in Mumbai. She is responsible for analysing and providing insights on India’s food and drink market.

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