The 21 Holiday Gifts Gen Z & Millennials Are Wishing For

What do Gen Z and Millennial consumers want for Christmas? We know what’s at the top of their holiday wishlists…

We’ve explored where young consumers plan to shop for the holidays, and what Gen Z and Millennials are planning to buy this upcoming retail holiday weekend—but what about the gifts they want to receive?

Not only will Gen Z and Millennials’ wishlists be driving the holiday shopping behaviors of older generations, but these young shoppers also see the holidays as a chance to treat themselves to the things they really want—with massive deals and the upcoming discounts of Black Friday and Cyber Monday giving them built-in reasons to buy. In our holiday shopping survey, we found that almost 40% of 13-36-year-olds plan to buy “gifts” for themselves this season—and their estimated budget to buy things for themselves is nearly as high as their budget to buy gifts for others. Tis the season to treat yo’self!

With all that in mind, we once again got to the bottom of what young consumers really want this holiday season, asking 1000 13-36-year-olds to tell us, “What is ONE thing is at the top of your holiday wishlist?”* And for the first time in years, cold hard cash was dethroned from its top spot on the ranking:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of items that Gen Z and Millennial consumers want for the holidays—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

What’s At the Top of Their Holiday Wishlist

13-36-year-olds

  1. Clothing / Accessories
  2. Cash
  3. Travel
  4. Smartphone
  5. Shoes / Sneakers / Boots
  6. Gift…
 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies