Jun 23 2020
There was little doubt that this summer was going to be a very different looking one for Gen Z and Millennials. In the last few months, there has been fretting and uncertainty about whether traditions like summer camps, or summer jobs, would still be possible. Major summer festivals like Coachella were delayed—and then cancelled. Movie theater openings are also in question (though drive-ins are thriving). In short: some of the most iconic and beloved summer pastimes have been majorly disrupted by the pandemic.
In our recent report on Gen Z and Millennials’ summer and 4th of July plans, we dug into exactly what the next few months will be looking like for them now. Though quarantine restrictions are lifting in many places, they remain cautious, and the majority tell us that they themselves are still quarantining. When we ask young consumers if COVID-19 changed their summer plans, 79% told us that it had. Gen Z was even more likely to say that their summer plans have changed, with 83% of 13-18-year-olds saying yes to this question. So, what’s changed? Among the majority who reported their plans have been altered because of COVID, here’s what they say is cancelled for them:
The majority of young consumers say that they have had a trip cancelled this summer because of COVID, and almost half are planning to forgo summer fun like going to the beach or pool, hanging out with friends, and going to the movies. Gen Z is slightly less likely to say that they won’t be able to do these things, indicating the younger generation could be partaking in some more social behavior this year. But overall, it’s clear that they’ll be sticking closer to home than ever before this summer. In fact, 59% of 13-39-year-olds tell YPulse that they plan to stay home more this summer because of COVID. It’s a trend that is creating unique opportunities in some industries. As young consumers avoid public beaches and pools, sales for outdoor activities, and backyard pools are surging. MarketWatch reports that Amazon saw sales of pools and pool-related products doubled in April, while Target saw “record-breaking” sales for their Minnidip “designer” adult-sized inflatable pools in May. And they’re not just for children—grown-up Millennials are also buying them to cool down in with “a hard seltzer or glass of rosé.”
Travel is perhaps the industry most impacted by these changed plans—but again, new opportunities are appearing as Millennials cancel big trips but still crave an escape. Airbnb says local travel and vacation home rentals are surging. According to the travel company, the number of bookings from mid-May to the beginning of June was greater than the weeks from the previous year. Road trips are also having a moment: 14% of 19-37-year-olds say they plan to go on more road trips this summer.
When we asked about the summer plans that they will be doing, spending time with family and spending time outdoors were their top responses. There is a clear space here for brands to be filling: how can summer entertainment be brought home for young consumers? Their focus on their home spaces, and the fun things they can still do there will be intensified in the coming months, and those who answer the call will be set up for success.
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