Consumers of 2030: Ten Gen Z Expectations that Forecast the Consumers of the Future Part 2 of 2

Doug Clark
October 2019
5 Minute Read

Consumers of 2030: Ten Gen Z Expectations that Forecast the Consumers of the Future

Part 2 of 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our consumer insights study of 2,000 13-17-year-olds on Gen Z’s expectations for the future.

While last month we focused on education, income, career, social issues and tech. This month we outline results from our study in five additional areas that may impact a brand’s marketing during the next decade.

 
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Marriage & Relationships​: Gen Z prioritizes committed relationships

Whether due to their busy lives or their frustration with the online dating scene, according to a 2017 Pew Research poll, only 42% of young adults live with a romantic spouse or partner.

 

But according to our study, 81% of current teens – double that of young adults – expect to be “partnered” in the next ten years. 43% said they expected to be married, while 38% expected to be in a committed romantic relationship. Teens’ views on “partnering” are impacted by the economy, divorce rates, marriage equality, and other environmental factors teens have grown up with.

81% of today’s teens expect to be partnered in the next ten years.

 
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Family and Aging: Growing life expectancy is creating unique needs

Only 38% of our teen respondents believe their parents will live with them at some point in the future when they are young adults. But due to the growing life expectancy of today’s older adults, the real number is likely to be as much as 70%.

 

The challenges for today’s teens (by then young adults) in caring for their elderly parents will include the availability of long-term care insurance, finding mental health support services, and changing how our culture views aging. The growing life expectancy will create new opportunities too, including growth in medical and retirement fields, changes in financial services, and even the development of a  multigenerational real estate model.

Only 38% of Gen Z believe they will take care of their parents at some point.

 
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Politics​: Teens have political fatigue

A majority of Gen Z surveyed expressed a disinterest in politics, and nearly one-third said they don’t plan to vote in the future. Teens that do plan to be involved in politics said they are more likely to identify as Independents (25%) versus Republicans (21%) or Democrats (20%). But it’s that 34% that plan to be apolitical that is of interest to us; while it’s doesn’t cut into Independent or Republican support (Millennials similarly identify as Independents (26%) and Republicans (22%), it severely depletes those who identify as Democrats.

 

The political disinterest doesn’t stop at voting though, as 45% of social media users aged 18-49 reported to Pew feeling “worn out” by the amount of political social posts. The party divide in social media exhaustion was 53%/43%, with Republicans reporting more negative reactions to the amount of politics they have to see online.

34% of today’s teens said they don’t plan to vote or be involved in politics.

 
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Religion: Spirituality in teens continuing to decrease

While religious participation and spirituality among Gen Z is decreasing, what’s most notable is how religion and spirituality are being practiced. In our study 34% of respondents said they do not regularly attend places of worship, while 32% actively visited. 31% of teens reported they don’t practice religion of any kind.

 

The decline in religious participation is correlated to Americans’ lack of confidence in organized religion. Trust in organized religion has been decreasing since 2009, with a 2018 Gallup Report showing “high confidence” in the church at only 38%. Teens say their views have been impacted in part by the news in recent years about fraud, “conversion therapy,” and sexual abuse scandals.

Only one-third of teens practice their religion in a place of worship.

 
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Nutrition & Exercise​: Health and fitness are a priority

Education on the importance of diet and exercise has impacted on Gen Z. 66% of our respondents said they plan to eat a balanced diet, while only 21% said they plan to consume a diet heavy in meat or protein.

 

Regular exercise is a priority too among Gen Z. 75% of poll respondents said they expect to exercise at least 2-4 times per week. By comparison, according to a 2019 Physical Activity Council report, only 60% of Millennials are engaged in some form of physical activity weekly. Expect wearable tech and fitness software to continue its rise in popularity, especially as 43% said they preferred to workout at home, meaning a possible future decline in gym memberships.

75% of teens said they expect to exercise 2-4 times per week.

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Contact us to learn more about Gen Z or to discuss how we can help your brand reach teen and young adult consumers.