One of the most exciting moments of the year here at Voxburner is when we receive the results of our annual Youth Trends survey, and find out the truth behind all the Gen Z trends and news reports we’ve been following throughout the year. Are the rumours really true? What do the UK’s 16-24s really think about today’s hot topics? The answers to these questions are revealed in our brand new Youth Trends Report, which was launched at YMS19 LDN and is now available to purchase here, but we’ve picked out a selection of the stats that blew our minds to share with you below.
There has been a lot of press coverage around the decline in drink and drugs among young people, so we had to find out if this was really true. We were surprised to find that the stats were even stronger than expected: 25% of 16-24s don’t drink, and only 30% drink every week.
We asked our survey panel to rank the parts of their life they’re prioritising at the moment, and education, health and career ranked ahead of socialising, hobbies and dating. While this fits with the ‘Generation Sensible’ trend, it’s nonetheless quite shocking to those whose student days were spent partying and skipping lectures.
Gen Z are digital natives, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the first to adopt new technologies. In fact, although 82% of 16-24s have tried using a voice assistant, just 42% use them at least once a week. Our youth contributors told us they were uncomfortable with talking to inanimate objects, suggesting these devices have some barriers to break before they become part of daily life for young consumers.
Another reason uptake may be slow on voice assistants is that young people are suspicious of these tech innovations, especially following data security scandals in the news. 46% of our panel were convinced that their phone was recording them without their permission. They also said they found targeted ads “creepy,” despite claiming that Instagram (where ads are most targeted) is their favourite place to follow brands.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Within the health trend, it’s not just physical but mental health that 16-24s are increasingly conscious of. We knew that mindfulness was a trend, but were impressed that 88% had tried some form of mindfulness activity to feel more relaxed. This includes exercise, meditation, colouring, mindfulness apps and crafting.
Veganism is clearly a fast-growing trend among young people, but the number of 16-24s who have committed to it full time is still very small. Only 2% eat vegan all the time, but 17% have tried it in total. Similarly, only 11% are vegetarian but 29% have tried it. Despite these small numbers, the high positions of Greggs and Ben & Jerry’s, who offer popular vegan products, in our Youth 100 (included with this year’s Youth Trends Report) shows this helps them win over young consumers.
To get the story behind these stats and understand how you can use our insights to optimise your youth marketing strategy, get your copy of the brand new Youth Trends Report here.