What tomorrow’s consumers are really thinking
The youngest Gen Alphas have been born during a pandemic, and some of the eldest share their birth year with the iPad, a device that could well become synonymous with this generation.
Named by some as the “mini-millennial” generation, over half of Gen Alpha is born of millennials. While they do share some of their parents’ views as well as those closest to them in age (Gen Zs), Gen Alphas do hold distinctive opinions of their own.
Gen Alpha grew up surrounded by technology, and these digital experiences influence their everyday life, forming a new kind of consumer, one that we’ve never experienced before.
So, what matters to them? Well, the importance of spending time with family stands out for Gen Alphas in the US, with family opinions, backgrounds, and cultures remaining an important staple in their lives.
But above all, helping people is the number one priority for 12-15s (61% say this). Plus, over half want to protect people from bullying and for everyone to be treated the same, fueling long-lasting attitudes that create a safer world for all.
Their philanthropic attitudes also spill into how they think about the environment.
% of US 12-15s who say the following are important to them
Younger US consumers are increasing their activism against the government to implement sustainable change at a systemic level. Gen Alpha favor caring for the planet over recycling, and although they have less agency to control waste management in their households, we’ve seen a similar mindset to those closest in age, Gen Z, suggesting that Gen Alpha also sees a much bigger picture to the efforts that sustainability requires.
We know from our research that health and wellness have become more important to adults during the pandemic, and kids have been affected too. Gen Alpha are more concerned about getting ill or their families getting ill since last year, and even though we’ve seen a bigger increase in worries for kids in America, this aligns with attitudes from kids in the rest of the world too.
Although worries still remain, Gen Alpha are beginning to show an optimistic outlook. Concerns about the future, not seeing friends enough, and falling behind in school have all decreased since last year, with the biggest emphasis on feeling less worried about their education.
For US 12-15s, getting good grades remains the top attitude toward school, and 43% believe it’s important to go to college, solidifying ambitions that Gen Alpha want to do well in their studies both now and in the future.
Global comfort levels among adults to return to the movies have been divided, but for Gen Alpha, the big screen has been sorely missed.
This could also be due to the fact that kids have a lot of enthusiasm for seeing a movie the moment it’s released. 46% of US 12-15s say they like to watch a movie as soon as it comes out, a 9% increase since last year, and it’s a sentiment that aligns with kids around the world too.
% of US 12-15s who...
In a surprising twist, even with the increased time on screens and a desire to get back to the big screen, audio content is on the rise. As listening time and even the general interest in podcasts increases, Gen Alpha understands the importance of taking time away from looking at their devices.
of 12-15s in the US like gaming podcasts
Comedy is a top genre for podcasts, following their theme of less serious content and funny entertainment. Close behind comedy are educational and story-telling genres, suggesting that Gen Alpha is engaged in this type of content to learn new things and energize their creativity. Even while surrounded by screens, Gen Alpha still has time to switch off and be entertained by simply listening.
The biggest games we’ve seen increase in popularity since last year are Roblox and Fortnite. It might surprise some to know that Roblox was released in 2006, but it was a well-established platform by the time Gen Alpha began to come of age. Fortnite, released in 2017, has a similar style of gaming to Roblox, and both of these games’ sudden rise in popularity is a result of Gen Alpha’s shifting gaming attitudes.
% of US gamers who want video games to include the following (sorted by % increase)
As Gen Alpha are exposed to world-building games from a young age, activities like these offer kids the opportunity to spark their imaginations, and equally offer endless opportunities to create in a digital space.
In fact, there's been a 23% increase in the number of 12-15s who like games centered around building/creating. And these young consumers like to world-build in real life too, with Lego being the top toy that 8-11s say is their favorite. Unsurprisingly, brands are beginning to catch on to this interest.
Epic Games recently announced its partnership with Lego, and the company is set to develop its famously interconnecting bricks with a collaboration to open new digital doors for their younger consumers.
Compared to the global average, US teens are 41% more likely to say they post everything they do on social media, and they’re 14% more likely to say it makes them feel closer to their friends.
Since 2021 across the globe, seeing friends in person has become more popular than talking to them online. But in the US, the latter online option still comes out on top for this generation. Gen Alpha in the US display their adaptability to do what’s important to them. Since last year, more screens may have had negative implications. We've seen decreases in users aged 12-15 in how they think, feel, and interact with social media platforms. But they're not worried about not seeing their friends anymore, an activity they do a lot of when they're online.
Gen Alphas in America seem to be better at hybrid communication, and they demonstrate flexibility in how they approach their relationships - a trait we may see continue as these consumers communicate online more in the future.
Want more insights on Gen Alpha in the US? Dive into the full America-specific report to understand tomorrow’s consumers. Uncover the complete picture of their social media habits, learn how important parental controls are to kids’ parents, know what gaming means to this generation, and learn what content appeals to them most.Get the report