Gen Z & Brand Loyalty: The Top Grocery Brands of Next-Gen Shoppers
There’s no shortage of speculation and scuttlebutt around Gen Z and how the up-and-comers will relate to traditional brands and branding strategies.
Indeed, many a bleak prognostication has already been hatched about these next-gen shoppers, born between 1997 and 2012, and their prospects for entering into committed relationships with brands.
Maybe you’ve heard brand loyalty is dead…or dying…or radically changing?
That makes two of us.
The time seems right, then, to explore the importance of brand name to Gen Z, particularly in the context of their other grocery-shopping priorities.
And while we’re at it, let’s look at a related question, one that’s sure to get the blood flowing: What are the top grocery brands among Gen Z shoppers?
Survey: Gen Z Talks Grocery Brands
As part of our “Grocery Shopping with Gen Z” campaign, culminating in this free, 30-page report, Field Agent surveyed over 2,000 shoppers about their grocery-shopping attitudes and behaviors. The sample encompassed 775 Gen Zers ages 18-22. For comparison, we also surveyed 1,303 shoppers between the ages of 40 and 60, roughly the age of the typical Gen Zer’s parents.
Before looking at a few insights, let’s state the obvious: It’s early. In our survey, 38% of 18-22-year-olds, currently the oldest members of Gen Z, reported they still live with their parents, while only 19% live with a spouse/significant other and a meager 8% are parents.
Yet, despite their age, it’s high-time for companies to start preparing for the next wave of grocery shoppers, including Gen Zers. They’re coming...and it could be a game-changer.
So let’s jump right in and consider the questions of brand loyalty and top grocery-brands, specifically as they relate to Gen Z shoppers.
Gen Z Shopping Priorities: Brand Name
We presented a sub-sample of 629 18-22-year-olds (only Gen Zers who presently shop for groceries) five different grocery-shopping priorities: (a) brand, (b) convenience, (c) nutritional quality/dietary compliance, (d) price, and (e) social responsibility/environmental impact. Field Agent then asked respondents to rank each priority by its relative importance when shopping for groceries.
By “brand,” the survey explained, we mean “regularly purchasing the same brands because of certain meanings or qualities you associate with them.”
The chart breaks-out the results by combined #1 and #2 rankings (i.e., percentages reflect the sum of #1 and #2 rankings).
Clearly, 18-22-year-olds in our survey say brand is low-priority relative to other grocery-shopping considerations, namely, price, convenience, and nutrition.
Does this mean brand loyalty is on life support—particularly among young shoppers, particularly in departure from the past? Most likely, no.
You see, we ran the same question by Gen Z’s “parents,” 1,303 shoppers between the ages of 40 and 60. Below, the results suggest the shopping priorities of both generations are, as of right now, far more similar than different. This includes how brand name lines up toward the end of the pecking order.
One possible takeaway: Brand, compared to price, nutrition, and convenience, is comparatively unimportant to shoppers regardless of generational affiliation.
We’ve of course heard Gen Z will eat healthier than their parents, and that the next generation is more likely to shop with their conscience (e.g., consider the social and/or environmental impact of what they buy). But these assertions are not manifested in the results above. Perhaps priorities like social impact will come, once more Gen Zers reach adult age and once their income levels grow. Perhaps.
It’s worth noting, however, that despite the similarities above, Gen Zers in our survey believe they will shop differently than their parents…and they already believe they’re eating healthier. Our full report, “Grocery Shopping with Gen Z,” offers all the details.
The Top Grocery Brands of Gen Z
And Gen Zers do have their favorite brands—even brands to which they’re very loyal. The insights above shouldn’t suggest otherwise.
We asked 775 18-22-year-olds to name one snack brand, one beverage brand, and one meal-prep brand they’re “extremely loyal to.” The survey posed the question as a free-form question, so as not to impose choice options or prime respondents’ answers.
Below we present the grocery brands cited by Gen Zers at least 20 times:
Interestingly, the brands mentioned most frequently by 18-22-year-olds in our survey are longtime, well-established brands. We fully expected to see more upstart grocery-brands on the list.
So what can we learn from these questions about Gen Z, their shopping priorities, and their favorite grocery-brands?
Most compelling, perhaps, is what we don’t see.
The insights above don’t show that Gen Z is departing meaningfully from the attitudes and behaviors of their parents toward grocery brands.
Not yet anyway. Not yet.
More Gen Z Insights? Download the Report
Field Agent’s free, 30-page report, “Grocery Shopping with Gen Z,” takes a hard look at the grocery-shopping attitudes and behaviors of over 2,000 shoppers, including 775 Gen Zers ages 18-22. The report explores questions like…
- How do Gen Zers shop for groceries (in-store, pickup, delivery), and how do they expect to shop for groceries in the coming years?
- Which grocery-retailers are tops with Gen Zers, both now and in the future?
- How do Gen Zers expect their shopping to change over the next few years?
- Which popular grocery brands do Gen Zers consider “nutritious”?
Download Field Agent’s free report, “Grocery Shopping with Gen Z,” for insights into these and other questions.