Everything you need to know about Gen Z and Millennial research and marketing, at your fingertips.

The Newsfeed

“[The Olympics is] a very positive event in an otherwise overly negative world.”—Male, 30, WI

McDonald’s is “bringing back” Szechuan sauce for Rick and Morty fans—again. They’re rebounding from the spectacular backfire of its previous release, which incited angry crowds and online fury. Last time, they under-estimated the Rick and Morty fandom and “supplies of the sauce didn't even come close to meeting demand.” This time, 20 million packets are bound for restaurants across the country. They’re also capitalizing on the fan fervor by teasing the event on Twitter, launching wewantthesauce.com, and offering a three-part podcast series with stories from the failed first release. (Detroit Free Press)

Mattel is unveiling several Barbie coding programs to encourage STEM among young girls. The Dedicate Barbie Careers Programming Experience, the Mattel Code-A-Thon, Teacher Outreach, and Global Student Engagement all launch this year in partnership with Tynker, a computer platform that reaches over 60 million kids. The expanded initiative has set a high goal for itself: teaching 10 million kids to code by 2020. (Kidscreen)

Angry Orchard is releasing a rosé hard cider, a Millennial pink beverage for the Instagram generation. The new drink is made from special apples found in France to give it its pink hue, plus a blend of other kinds. Millennials have proven time and again that they love rosé and have a penchant for pink, and this new offering from Angry Orchard is banking on both trends to appeal to young consumers. But for those trying to healthify their Instagram feeds, pink lettuce is trending, too. (Bustle)

We always talk about what’s trending, but what does that even mean? It turns out the answer to that question is dubious at best. YouTube decides by analyzing “view count, the rate of audience growth, and the age of the content”—so a video that accumulates views quickly outranks the rest. Twitter’s algorithm takes into account who’s watching with location and more, while Facebook’s is “fully automated.” Unfortunately chalking “trending” up to an automated system means fake news and other inappropriate content slips through the cracks. (Select All)

JCPenney is launching a new line to appeal to teen shoppers. Obsess is “inspired by Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez,” and will offer up to size 20 to make sure there’s no backlash about not being inclusive enough. The department store shut down 140 stores last year, and this signals a new bid to bring young shoppers back in store. But Ypulse research shows retail’s best bet with teens is to offer in-store experiences, not just new products. (MediaPost)

“It is a rush seeing the women in the Olympics perform and inspire young girls everywhere.”—Female, 18, OH

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