Gen Z less willing to spend post-pandemic but still prioritise sustainable and health-based products

February 21, 2023

New research* from global market intelligence expert Mintel shows that living through years of uncertainty for most of their lives has made Gen Z** focus on the future, become more financially savvy and more discerning about how they spend.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic downturn, inflation and the ongoing climate crisis, Thais under 25 are less willing to part with their cash, with three quarters (75%) choosing to save for the future rather than spend on material things.

When the youngest generation does spend, they do so with consideration; more than four in five (86%) read product reviews before making a purchase. They are also more willing to spend on products that offer health benefits (53%), are certified by credible sources (39%), and are eco-friendly (36%).

Whilst two-thirds (60%) of Gen Z express contentment with their overall life in the past year through June 2022, Mintel research shows that young consumers are stressed and lonely, with holistic health and wellbeing becoming a critical factor in purchase decision-making.

Gen Zs seek high-value and affordable health solutions, but over two-thirds (38%) will only be swayed when they can verify a product’s authenticity and credibility. This is especially true for food and beverage products, which Thai Gen Zs prioritise most of their spending (65%).

Despite the many challenges Gen Z has experienced, their commitment to sustainability and social purpose remains unchanged, and they expect to see their values reflected in their chosen brands. More than three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z in Thailand agree that they put more effort into their routine to sustain the environment, and 25% think that it’s worth paying more for sustainable products.

Online channel is still the one utilised most frequently by younger Thais, with more than three in five (65%) saying they would rather shop online than offline and a similar percentage (64%) stating they browse social media as a way to relax. 

Wilasinee (Kaimook) Siriboonpipattana, PhD, Senior Lifestyle Research Analyst, Mintel Reports Thailand, said: “18-25-year-olds make up a fifth of Thailand’s consumers, and they represent the future, so it’s essential for brands to understand how to reach this group and build brand loyalty early on. 

“However, this is not without challenges — not only are the majority more likely to spend than save, but many still rely on their parents for financial support, so they may not have complete freedom to make all their purchasing decisions.

“Where brands can win is by using digital channels to demonstrate authenticity, transparency and alignment to the causes Gen Zs care most about. There’s also an opportunity for brands that can help alleviate financial anxiety by giving young consumers more value for their purchases and enabling them to put more money away for the future.”

Notes to editor

*Thai consumers aged 10-25, born 1997-2012

**547 Thai internet users aged 18-25

Additional research on Thailand’s Gen Z consumer population and interviews with the analyst are available upon request from the Mintel Press Office. For those interested in purchasing the full report, please visit the Mintel Store.

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