NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends
Jul 19 2022
Young Europeans tell YPulse they want to improve their wellness. Here are three trends they want to try now…
Gen Z and Millennials are wellness-focused generations. And while their definition of “wellness” is being complicated and redefined (more on that in our upcoming August trend report), one thing we know for sure is that these young consumers are committed to their health. Our recent WE Fitness report found that 84% of young Europeans care about their health and being healthy, and nearly half say they’re committed to improving both their mental and physical health this year. In fact, taking care of their mental and physical health is the top thing they started doing during the pandemic that they want to keep up post-COVID—and they’re willing to try new things to fulfill their goals.
In our recent WE Health, Drugs, and Risky Behavior report, we asked young Europeans the open-end question, “What is the biggest health / wellness trend you’ve been interested in recently?” And while the usual suspects of exercise, healthy diet, and skincare topped the ranking, many also listed less mainstream wellness trends—and ones that brands should keep their eye on to continue reaching these health-focused young consumers. Here are three trends from their list:
#GutHealth and #HealYourGut have been trending on TikTok for a while, and you know what that means—young consumers are bringing the health fad into the real world with a vengeance. The idea behind the gut health trend is that a myriad of health issues from bad skin to fatigue to depression can be healed by restoring and tending to your gut microbiome. And though there are murmurs that this line of thinking is just another ploy to enforce toxic diet culture among women, it’s quickly becoming a wellness mainstay. YPulse’s WE Cooking and Diets Report shows 23% of 13-39-year-olds in Western Europe say they consider their gut health when deciding what to eat, and it’s one of the wellness trends they say they’re interested in trying now. Now, brands in the region are answering the call, spurring on the $1.1 billion global industry. Last year saw the launch of German startup Her1, which “aims to offer women a holistic approach to health, selling products but also offering guidance and education” about gut health. And U.S.-based brand Zoe recently went live in the U.K., offering even more women their tailored gut health-focused food and supplement regimen.
YPulse has been tracking young consumers’ interest in plant-based foods since the Impossible Burger first made its way into the scene, and it’s only continued to grow as food brands embrace these eco-minded gens seek ways to stay green—and healthy. YPulse’s WE sustainability report shows that 27% of young Europeans are cutting down their meat consumption / eating a meat-free diet as a way to be more environmentally friendly, and our WE Cooking and Diets report for that 43% are regularly eating plant-based products. Now, in our WE Health, Drugs, and Risky Behavior report, it’s a top wellness trend young Europeans say they’re interested in trying. Vegan and vegetarian diets were also mentioned a fair amount, but more specifically, many respondents said they’re interested in plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products. When asked why, one 38-year-old German male said “to finally live in a way that conserves resources” while a 38-year-old male in the U.K. said, “Because it’s a much healthier and sustainable way of eating.” Indeed, a recent study from Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut found that 60% of 18-44-year-olds expect plant-based options (compared to 43% of those 45-years-old-and-older), and 42% are prepared to spend more for it. Meanwhile, Burger King has become a pioneer of plant-based options in the fast food space, opening its first 100% vegetarian restaurant in Spain last year and vowing to make its U.K. menu 50% plant-based by 2031.
CBD / Cannabis
Millennials’ interest in cannabis has been pushing the substance into the mainstream in the U.S. and fueling the burgeoning cannabis economy for years now. In fact, this year’s North American Health, Drugs, and Risky Behavior report found that 39% of young consumers in the region are using marijuana at least monthly. The picture looks a little different in Western Europe, though, where cannabis is still largely illegal. Just 22% of Millennials and 13% of Gen Z in the region have tried cannabis, and nearly four in five say they never use CBD or cannabis. But that doesn’t mean they’re not eyeing the industry. Nearly two in five say they’re interested in CBD-based gummies, beauty products, and beverages, and CBD / cannabis is one of the health trends they’re interested in now, indicating that the substance is ready for its glow-up from illicit drug to wellness elixir in Western Europe, too. And it’s not like consumers, brands, and politicians in the region aren’t trying. Medicinal cannabis is slowly becoming legal across Europe with some talk of recreational reform, and a recent survey found that more than half of European support this move. Though CBD wellness brands and products haven’t permeated Western Europe at the same level as North America, the industry is heading in a similar direction: Europe’s first cannabis wellness spa (yes, that’s a thing) just opened in Switzerland, while U.K.-based CBD delivery service Cannaray recently launched the country’s first major cannabis marketing campaign and CBD brand Tilray’s new line Pollen is now live on Amazon U.K. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that the CBD market could be worth €1.5 billion by 2023—and many young Europeans are ready to buy in. As a 33-year-old female in the U.K. told YPulse “[I want to try CBD because] mental health tools are a requirement to manage everyday life and even more so after all of the lockdowns.”
YPulse Western Europe Business users can access the full WE Health, Drugs, and Risky Behavior behavioral report and data here.
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