This Is Gen Z AND Millennials’ Favorite Candy

Young consumers love an indulgent treat. We asked what their favorite candy brands to splurge on are right now, and found Gen Z and Millennials’ answer is unanimous…

The biggest candy holidays of the year are coming up (and if you need to get ready for Halloween, you can check out what Gen Z and Millennials have planned here)—but young consumers don’t necessarily need the holidays as an excuse to splurge on chocolate. “Treat yo’self” has become a motto among Gen Z and Millennials who are using the extra encouragement for everyday splurges. Indulgences are being encouraged as they increasingly spread the message that little luxuries are good for their mental health. In our research on the trend, we found over nine in ten young consumers tell us that they like to treat themselves every once in a while, and the majority say that indulgences are part of a healthy lifestyle.

When we looked at some of Gen Z and Millennials’ favorite food brands (according to our Ybrands youth brand tracker), we also  found these generations consider indulgences among their favorites. Oreo tops the list among all three age groups, and Doritos lands in the top three for all groups as well.

And what about candy? We’ve looked into that, too. In our recent survey on Halloween plans and spending, we asked 1000 13-36-year-olds, “What is your favorite candy?”—and many respondents had trouble naming just one. As one 31-year-old female told us, "I love all candy. Currently eating candy corn and Almond Joy for breakfast." But we ranked their responses and one candy brand rose to the top among all age groups:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of candy brands that Millennials and Gen Z say are their favorites—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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