As we shared in our Youth Trends Report 2019, Gen Z are a health-conscious generation who are well informed about nutrition and fitness. Our survey of 1500 UK 16-24s found that 81% had changed their eating habits over the past year and 48% are gym-goers, while they ranked health second in their list of priorities, only below education. Their interest in physical and mental health has a big impact on their spending, from the brands they shop with to the products they buy. Here are just a few of the industries that are seeing a boost thanks to the Gen Z health trend.
Athleisure combines Gen Z’s love of fitness and fashion, and its popularity is shown in the rise of brands such as Under Armour, Lululemon and Gymshark. Fitness influencers have also played a key role in this trend, setting a new standard for how young people want to dress for a workout. These brands are considered so cool that it’s perfectly acceptable to wear them outside of the gym, and you’ll see them on university campuses around the world.
Snacking used to be seen as a vice by health-conscious people, but now they are able to satisfy their cravings without feeling guilty, thanks to an endless array of healthy snack options. You’ll find aisles full of these brands in your local supermarket, and even more in health food shops like Whole Foods. Popular examples include Graze, a DTC brand turned supermarket staple, and Deliciously Ella, founded by food influencer Ella Woodward.
Gyms and fitness classes
With 42% of 16-24s going to the gym, and over a third of those going at least three times a week, working out has become a key part of life for young people. This frequency shows that Gen Z are willing to invest in their fitness, because it’s so important to them. The rise of “budget gym” chains such as PureGym has made workouts and fitness classes more accessible to younger people, who often become valuable long-term customers.
Not all streetwear may be practical to wear during sports activities, but it can’t go unnoticed that many of Gen Z’s favourite clothing brands started out as sportswear. This includes Nike and Adidas, who consistently come up top when we poll young people on fashion brands, as well as Vans, Supreme, Champion, and others who bridge the gap between sportswear and streetstyle. You’re just as likely to find those brands in Urban Outfitters as JD Sports.
The need to feel healthy and look good is driving young people to expand their horizons, and try out more unusual tactics alongside nutrition and fitness. Many gym-goers, especially young males, have integrated protein powders like MyProtein or meal replacements such as Huel into their diets. Meanwhile, those concerned about deficiencies of certain vitamins in their diets have driven the rise of supplements like Vitamin D and Omega3.
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