Indian Gen Z: Financially savvy, socially conscious and ready to travel

June 28, 2023

New research from Mintel reveals that a majority of India’s Gen Z consumer population (aged 18-26 in 2023) in India are motivated to realise their future ambitions, with 91% emphasising the importance of savings to reach their goals.

The research indicates that this young generation dreams of owning homes and cars and travelling abroad at a young age. What’s more, they know that they can only achieve through financial savviness.

Saptarshi Banerjee, Senior Lifestyle Research Analyst, Mintel Reports India, said:

“As Gen Z grapples with an uncertain future, they are resolute in their quest for financial self-reliance, demonstrating a keen interest in products that offer significant value for their investment. This demographic, many of whom are navigating transitional life stages and without a steady income yet, presents an opportunity for brands. The key to winning them over lies in providing cost-effective, innovative products, enhancing consumer engagement with fun deals (e.g. gamification) and crafting unique experiences.”

According to the research, 77% of Gen Z consumers aspire to become homeowners, 59% dream of buying a car early in life and 55% desire to travel abroad. Over a third save from their pocket money and rely on parental support for spending (38% and 35%, respectively).

With Gen Z consumers understanding the necessity of saving for financial independence, 88% also believe it is necessary to get the best deal on every purchase.

Gen Z struggles with sustainable living

Despite caring about social and ethical issues, Gen Z consumers find it challenging to incorporate sustainable habits. More than 8 in 10 Indian Gen Zs are concerned about these issues, with 81% supporting local brands. However, only 27% have reduced their utility waste in the last six months, compared to 32% of Younger Millennials (aged 27-33 in 2023). Furthermore, 55% of Gen Zs believe the majority of sustainable claims are false.

“Brands can empower these young customers in their efforts towards equality and localism, encouraging them to adopt eco-friendly habits, while also educating them on sustainable initiatives.”

“Brands can meet these expectations by using local ingredients and flavours, promoting original content, highlighting socially-minded initiatives, and providing credible evidence of sustainability to avoid green-washing allegations,” said Banerjee.

Gen Z trusts the online ecosystem and values affordability amid economic uncertainties

Considered true digital natives, 64% of Gen Z consumers in India regard information from social media or the Internet as authentic, while 63% prefer online shopping to in-store. Moreover, 69% believe that next-gen technologies like virtual reality or metaverse represent the future of social media.

This generation is also faced with many worries including soaring inflation and other economic uncertainties like job cuts. In March 2023, data from the Mintel Economic Tracker shows that 12% of Indians aged 18-24 described their financial situation as ‘tight’. Mintel research suggests that Gen Z consumers will continue to prioritise value-based purchases to ensure sound personal finance.

“Gen Z consumers regard affordability and value as paramount. According to Mintel Trend International Spending, consumers seek innovative solutions and brands while maintaining their living standards,” said Banerjee.

Mintel research suggests that brands can innovate existing products to enhance longevity or flexibility. They can also help young consumers learn new skills and develop an interest in specific categories such as cooking, fashion, and beauty.

In terms of socialising, 68% of Gen Z consumers prefer making and interacting with new friends online rather than offline. “As awareness grows about the potential harm social media can have on mental health, backed by various research, brands have an opportunity to create and promote initiatives that help these young consumers navigate the digital landscape safely and responsibly,” continued Banerjee.

Travel holds high importance for Gen Z

For 75% of Gen Z consumers who prioritise travelling abroad, engaging with new friends online surpasses the total sample (68%). “Young consumers, particularly post-pandemic, are eager to travel affordably. Brands offering budget-friendly travel options stand to benefit,” Banerjee said.

As a generation reliant on the Internet, Gen Z offers brands an unprecedented opportunity for digital engagement.

Banerjee concluded, “Brands should develop initiatives to support these young consumers in safely and responsibly navigating the digital realm.”

Additional research on India’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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