How Millennials & Gen Z Are Celebrating the 4th, In 4 Stats

The 4th of July is a big retail holiday for the country, so we found out what 13-34-year-olds planned to do, buy, and spend to celebrate…

When we asked in our June monthly survey of Millennials and Gen Z, 91% of 13-34-year-olds planned to celebrate the 4th of July this year. As always, we dug into their plans to find out what their holidays would look like and, perhaps more importantly for brands, what they planned to buy and how much they planned to spend to celebrate Independence Day this year.

BuzzFeed reports that as a nation, Americans will spend an estimated $7.1 billion on food during the weekend, and Walmart calls it “one of the biggest food holidays of the year.” According to our survey, 18-34-year-olds who are celebrating and plan to buy items for the holiday estimated that they would be spending over $100 on average. (An over $10 increase from their 2016 estimates.) Which means Millennials alone account for an estimated $6B in 4th of July spending power. Spending estimates were highest among 30-34-year-olds, who said they would fork out over $150 on average for the 4th celebrations. Gen Z came in at a slightly lower planned spending estimate average, but also planned to out-buy Millennial consumers in some categories. So what exactly are these groups planning to buy? Here’s their star-spangled-spending for the 4th, broken down in four stats:

1. Almost seven in ten 13-34-year-olds planned to watch fireworks & two in five planned to purchase them.

Nothing says 4th of July like a fireworks display, and 66% of Millennials and Gen Z planned to watch one this holiday—with 37% planning to purchase their own to set off at home. Young consumers in the Midwest and South are most likely to plan to buy fireworks, with over two in five saying they would be purchasing (local laws…

 
 

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“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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