Youth Brand Affinity Tracker

US Edition

UK Edition

Each quarter, we analyze the performance of leading brands in 10 of the sectors most important to Gen Z consumers.

To compile the Youth Brand Affinity Tracker, we look at four key metrics: Brand visibility, purchase engagement, purchase intent & consideration.

Brand Affinity - Girl Shopping

Discover the top Gen Z brands in your sector

Fashion – Retail

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which in-store fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

As a brand that brings together young consumers of all backgrounds and tastes, Nike consistently comes out on top in Gen Z brand polls. However, the reasons for this may not be what you expect. Nike has become well known for its sustainability efforts and support of political causes such as Black Lives Matter and getting out the vote, but none of these factors were mentioned by our survey respondents when explaining why they would be more likely to shop from Nike than any other brand in this list. Instead, their answers focused simply on the quality and style of Nike products.

Sports brands dominate the top five in this category, and in each case, footwear is the main attraction. 30% of those who picked Nike, Adidas, or Vans as the fashion retailer they were most likely to shop from mentioned shoes or sneakers in their explanation, while only 7% mentioned clothes.

Sneakers are a huge part of the fashion market today, especially amid the rise of streetwear and hype culture, where shoes from the coolest brands have become a luxury item that young consumers, especially males, aspire to own and show off on their social media profiles.

While sportswear is popular with all genders, males are more likely to pick those brands as their favorites, while brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21, and American Eagle ranked highly with females. These all-American retailers are mall staples that Gen Z has grown up with, and their sustained popularity shows the new generation is not ready to give them up in favor of new upstarts quite yet.

Leaderboard:

Fashion Retail Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Nike75%37%36%24%100
2Adidas69%23%23%11%85
3Vans64%23%25%10%78
4Victoria’s Secret63%21%22%11%75
5Forever 2163%19%21%10%60
6Old Navy63%19%18%9%50
7American Eagle57%18%20%8%40
8H&M53%16%17%7%28
9Converse58%14%17%7%25
10Zara22%7%9%3%10

Fashion – Retail

We polled over 677 young people to find out which in-store fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

In the in-store fashion category, Primark may be considered a surprising victor. As one of the few high street retailers without an ecommerce arm, being forced to close all UK stores for several months this year could have been a death sentence, but our stats show young consumers have enthusiastically returned to the chain since it reopened in June. Two thirds of Primark’s Gen Z shoppers are female, according to our data, and females are twice as likely as males to select Primark as their favourite place to shop for fashion.

Value is key, as the most common words used to describe Primark included “cheap” and “affordable,” while many respondents also praised their wide variety of products. Primark also benefits from familiarity and convenience, as their 188 stores cover the majority of the UK’s towns and cities, but it’s interesting to note that they placed higher than brands with significantly more outlets, such as New Look (519) and River Island (350). While they may have fewer locations, Primark stores tend to be larger, offering the feeling of unlimited choice that these digital native shoppers have become accustomed to.

Sportswear brands also made a strong showing in this sector, with Nike, Adidas and JD Sports representing the top three in-store fashion brands that males would be most likely to buy from. Fans of these brands noted the “good quality” of their products when explaining why they would choose to shop there, with their range of shoes being the biggest draw, above clothing.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Primark78%42%40%30%99
2Nike78%30%29%16%91
3JD Sports74%27%28%11%78
4H&M72%26%27%10%68
5Adidas76%25%25%10%65
6New Look67%19%21%7%50
7Topshop / Topman62%15%17%5%33
8Zara60%19%18%4%30
9River Island65%12%13%4%26
10Urban Outfitters51%10%13%3%11

Fashion – Ecommerce

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which online fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Fashion ecommerce is a fast-growing market, with many of the leading brands targeted specifically to Gen Z. This chart reveals which of these relatively new brands are gaining an edge over the competition.

We found a fitting winner in Fashion Nova, an online retailer whose business model has inspired several of the other brands within our top 10. Partnerships with the biggest name influencers have driven growth for Fashion Nova, as well as their ability to quickly jump on new trends and produce items inspired by celebrity looks, putting them on sale within days.

Fashion Nova’s biggest challenger right now may come as a surprise to those who haven’t been following the rise of Chinese ecommerce brand, Shein. Their app is consistently among the highest-ranked in the shopping category on Apple’s App Store. Similarly, we see strong results for GOAT, StockX, and Depop, which also have very popular apps. Any brand on this list that isn’t focused on developing and driving usage of their app is at risk of becoming irrelevant as app shopping increasingly becomes the norm for digital natives.

Much like the retail fashion category, three of our top five brands here represent the streetwear and athleisure trend. For male Gen Z shoppers, GOAT and StockX are the brands they’re most likely to buy from, along with Fashion Nova (their Nova Men line, we assume) and followed closely by Gymshark. These brands not only appeal to a generation conscious of health and fitness but also provide the casual, comfortable clothing that’s perfect for chilling at home during this time of social distancing.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Fashion Nova44%17%20%23%100
2Shein33%17%19%21%90
3GOAT18%9%11%10%73
4Gymshark20%7%9%10%65
5StockX14%9%10%9%53
6Zappos19%6%7%10%49
7ASOS19%5%8%5%43
8Depop16%7%7%6%41
9Nasty Gal14%7%6%5%25
10Missguided11%4%6%3%13

Fashion – Ecommerce

We polled over 677 young people to find out which online fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

As one of the original UK ecommerce brands, ASOS had to adapt to cater for a new generation of digital native consumers. Their inclusive products, diverse models and value-driven campaigns prove they truly ‘get’ Gen Z. By offering a range of top brands in addition to their own products, including Nike, Adidas, Topshop and even their ecommerce competitors Missguided, ASOS has become a convenient one-stop shop. It’s essentially an online high street, curated to feature only the coolest and most relevant youth brands. Those who picked ASOS as the fashion etailer they’re most likely to shop from cited the variety of products when explaining their choice.

Elsewhere in our top 10, there’s a battle of the Manchester-based fast fashion brands. While Boohoo ranks highest overall, Pretty Little Thing takes the lead with female shoppers. PLT may be the newest of the group, but thanks to a smart growth strategy that leaned heavily on influencer partnerships, they now have almost as many Instagram followers as Boohoo and Missguided combined. Among female 16-24s, PLT is equal with ASOS, each being picked as the favourite online fashion brand by 20% of the demographic, while Boohoo and Missguided were chosen by 13% and 8% respectively.

Two other brands that stand out as ones to watch are Shein and Depop, both benefactors of the app shopping trend. Shein is a Chinese brand which is better known for its app than its ecommerce site. Their app is consistently the highest-ranked fashion app in the shopping category on Apple’s App Store. Not far behind on that chart, as in our top 10, is Depop, the reselling app which taps into Gen Z’s desire to buy affordable fashion, create a unique look, and take care of the planet while doing it.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1ASOS65%29%32%26%100
2Boohoo / Boohoo Man62%22%21%13%88
3Pretty Little Thing60%21%22%13%83
4Shein44%18%18%9%58
5Missguided51%16%18%6%56
6Depop47%15%16%11%55
7Gymshark48%11%11%9%50
8Nasty Gal36%10%11%4%28
9StockX14%6%7%6%19
10Zalando21%8%6%3%15

Retail

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which of the retail superstores resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

This category brings together online marketplaces, department stores, and big box stores – the retailers that aim to be a one-stop-shop for anything a customer might need. Our research shows that, for a large majority of Gen Z, Amazon is the first place they look. Amazon won by a landslide in each of our purchase engagement, purchase intent, and consideration metrics, showing just how ingrained into their consumer habits this ecommerce giant has become.

It’s also notable that more of our respondents plan to spend on Amazon in the three months ahead compared to the previous quarter, which included Prime Day, so we can predict a highly profitable Black Friday and holiday season for Amazon this year.

We also found that, within the demographic we surveyed, Amazon was more popular with students than non-students, demonstrating the impact of the Student Prime scheme, which compounds brand loyalty at a young age by offering special Prime pricing for students.

While Amazon is followed by another ecommerce leader in eBay, you may be surprised to see Home Depot in third place. Young people aren’t typically associated with DIY and home improvements, yet one in five of our respondents had shopped there in the past three months. This could have been boosted by a desire to spruce up their dorm rooms or childhood bedrooms when facing a winter of spending a lot of time indoors due to the pandemic. Home Depot has used content marketing such as tutorial videos to appeal to young people moving into their own homes for the first time, unsure where to start or what to buy.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Amazon76%59%61%54%100
2eBay64%19%20%8%85
3Home Depot63%21%18%5%74
4Bed Bath & Beyond59%17%16%8%68
5JCPenney65%14%15%6%63
6Macy’s63%15%13%5%49
7Kohl’s57%16%16%4%48
8IKEA56%10%13%5%33
9Staples54%11%11%4%23
10Groupon41%7%7%3%10

Retail

We polled over 677 young people to find out which of the retail superstores resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

This category brings together online marketplaces, department stores, and all those retailers that aim to be a one-stop-shop for anything a customer might need. Our research shows that, for a large majority of Gen Z, Amazon is the first place they look. Amazon won by a landslide in each of our purchase engagement, purchase intent, and consideration metrics, showing just how ingrained into their consumer habits this ecommerce giant has become.

It’s also notable that more of our respondents plan to spend on Amazon in the three months ahead compared to the previous quarter, which included Prime Day, so we can predict a highly profitable Black Friday and festive season for Amazon this year.

We also found that, within the demographic we surveyed, Amazon was more popular with students than non-students, demonstrating the impact of the Student Prime scheme, which compounds brand loyalty at a young age by offering special Prime pricing for students.

In second place, eBay not only appeals to shoppers looking for a bargain, but also aligns with the recommerce trend which is growing among Gen Z, as part of a broader move towards sustainable shopping. A survey we conducted earlier this year found that 64% of 16-24s had bought second-hand products online, and while newcomers such as Depop and StockX are growing fast, eBay is still the most popular choice for buying and selling used items. The most common items to buy pre-owned, according to our survey, were books, clothes and tech products.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Amazon82%64%58%50%100
2eBay78%40%35%15%90
3Argos76%27%23%6%78
4IKEA72%21%21%7%65
5M&S69%23%18%5%58
6Wilko62%24%22%4%53
7WHSmith66%17%14%4%43
8John Lewis64%13%13%3%30
9Debenhams63%11%12%3%25
10Groupon44%5%6%2%10

Grocery

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which grocery store brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Walmart is a resounding winner in the grocery category, coming out top in every metric we surveyed. The retailer, which has over 4700 stores across the country, is heading into the holiday season with high hopes for its new Walmart+ offering, a subscription service that is viewed as their answer to Amazon Prime. We predict that many young people will take advantage of the service’s 15-day free trial when they need last-minute gifts and supplies during the festive season, especially if they’re avoiding unnecessary shopping trips due to the pandemic. The question will be whether they stick with it long-term.

While the two superstores, Walmart and Target, were the top choices in all regions across all metrics, they polled stronger in the south and midwest than the east and west coast, where brands such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have a loyal customer base. The latter two were praised by respondents for their fresh and healthy food, clearly appealing to the segment of Gen Z who feel strongly about ethics and wellness.

Within the 16-24 demographic, Walmart and 7-Eleven’s customer base skews slightly male, while Target’s is predominantly female. Females who chose Target as their preferred grocery store to shop from emphasized its variety and quality, while males who selected Walmart and 7-Eleven focused primarily on their low prices and convenience, demonstrating the different priorities that drive brand loyalty among each gender within the grocery sector.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Walmart78%63%59%40%100
2Target70%46%44%19%90
37-Eleven62%25%21%8%78
4Kroger43%20%21%7%65
5CostCo51%17%19%7%63
6Aldi41%18%16%5%45
7Trader Joe’s42%13%14%5%40
8Whole Foods Market45%13%10%4%38
9Safeway24%10%11%2%20
10Instacart27%8%8%2%13

Supermarkets

We polled over 677 young people to find out which grocery store brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

The top three in our supermarket chart is no surprise, as it’s made up of the UK’s three largest supermarket chains, Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s. However, fast-growing challenger brands Aldi and Lidl are close behind, even outperforming Sainsbury’s on the consideration metric. These European supermarket chains may not offer quite the same wide range of products and brands as their competitors, but for young people living on a student loan or part-time job, they have an obvious appeal.

As the UK’s biggest supermarket by a clear margin, Tesco is of course the winner among young consumers too. Those who picked it as the grocery store they’d be most likely to buy from focused on its quality, variety and prices when explaining their choice. Lower down the top 10, we saw more regional variation. For example, Lidl outperforms Aldi in the south of England, while Aldi, Lidl and Morrison’s are more popular than Sainsbury’s in the north and midlands, and Aldi and Co-op saw a particularly strong result in Scotland.

Supermarkets are among the few businesses able to stay open in lockdown, and have played an important role throughout the pandemic. In March, they reacted quickly with campaigns such as Tesco’s ‘Keeping you safe’ advert, using real employees to demonstrate the safety measures they’d implemented in-store. Supermarket workers also earned a new level of respect as they continued to risk their lives working through the pandemic, while the retailers themselves were praised for actions such as allocating shopping time to the elderly and NHS.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Tesco80%60%53%25%100
2ASDA78%46%41%16%88
3Sainsbury’s79%42%35%10%75
4Aldi73%39%35%12%73
5Lidl74%36%33%11%65
=6Co-op72%32%25%7%43
=6Morrison’s71%30%26%9%43
8Iceland73%27%23%5%35
9Waitrose63%15%13%2%19
10Spar53%11%9%2%11

Entertainment

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which entertainment brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Home entertainment has been a lifeline for young people throughout the pandemic, keeping them entertained, connected with friends, and distracted from the news. Many young consumers saw lockdown as an excuse to sign up for streaming services, so it’s no surprise to see them making up the entirety of our top five brands in this category.

At the top of the list is Netflix, which half of our respondents had spent money on in the past three months – and that doesn’t even account for those who use their family or roommate’s subscription. Hulu maintains high brand engagement and purchase intent, but performed poorly on the consideration metric, suggesting that those who have a subscription to multiple video-on-demand platforms may be less loyal to Hulu – it could be at risk of losing Gen Z customers if it fails to provide content they truly love.

It’s impressive to see Disney+ in the top five only one year after launch, and we’re intrigued to see what new content they’ll release to keep subscribers on board once they’ve seen all the Disney, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox classics.

We discovered an interesting demographic split, as video streaming sites are more likely to be females’ preferred entertainment brand (especially Netflix or Disney+), while males are more likely to choose the gaming brands (Playstation, GameStop, and Nintendo). We also found that Spotify and Apple Music are more popular with college undergraduates than non-students, no doubt thanks to the special student pricing they offer.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Netflix79%50%44%23%98
2Hulu69%33%29%8%80
3Spotify68%29%28%12%73
4Disney+70%31%27%7%65
5YouTube80%31%27%9%60
6Playstation66%23%23%11%58
7GameStop63%19%19%8%43
8Apple Music63%20%18%8%33
9Nintendo63%19%18%8%30
10Barnes & Noble53%12%13%6%13

Entertainment

We polled over 677 young people to find out which entertainment brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Home entertainment has been a lifeline for young people throughout the pandemic, keeping them entertained, connected with friends, and distracted from the news. Many young consumers saw lockdown as an excuse to sign up for streaming services, so it’s no surprise to see them making up the majority of our top five brands in this category.

At the top of the list is Netflix, which more than half of our respondents had spent money on in the past three months – and that doesn’t even account for those who use their family or housemate’s subscription. Interestingly, those who said Netflix was the brand they’d be most likely to purchase from in this category more often cited their catalogue of films than their selection of TV shows as the reason for their choice.

It’s impressive to see Disney+ in the top five less than a year after launch, and we’re intrigued to see what new content they’ll release to keep subscribers on board once they’ve watched all the Disney, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox classics.

We discovered an interesting demographic split, as video streaming sites are more likely to be females’ preferred entertainment brand (especially Netflix or Spotify), while males are more likely to choose the gaming brands (Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo). As the clear favourite gaming brand on our list, Playstation’s latest model, the PS5, is sure to have a strong presence on the Christmas lists of 16-24s this year. We also found that Spotify is more popular with university undergraduates than non-students, no doubt thanks to the special student pricing they offer.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Netflix83%53%42%27%100
2Spotify77%39%35%17%85
3PlayStation77%23%22%13%73
4YouTube83%27%22%5%68
=5Disney+73%25%22%5%58
=5Xbox74%21%18%10%58
=7Apple Music71%16%15%8%40
=7Nintendo72%18%13%6%40
9Waterstones47%10%11%4%16
10HMV47%8%9%4%14

Travel

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which travel brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

The top five in this category is dominated by brands that were founded within the past 15 years, demonstrating that Gen Z is open to disruption in the travel industry, especially when it makes traveling the country and the world more affordable and accessible to them. Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are all considered part of the “sharing economy,” and Gen Z’s willingness to embrace this trend shows a high level of trust in others and the community.

Travel is, of course, one of the industries most affected by the pandemic, and we can see the impact of this on our top 10. It’s predictable that airlines would see low brand engagement and purchase intent at this time when international travel is not recommended and air travel as a whole is unappealing. We’ll be tracking how these stats change as the pandemic subsides, with optimism for a strong summer 2021.

As for the brands that topped our chart, each has been able to continue operating during the pandemic but has had to make significant adaptations. Uber has promoted mask-wearing and made it mandatory for drivers and passengers, using the simple, firm slogan “No mask. No ride.”

Airbnb is enforcing stricter cleaning requirements for hosts and is benefiting from increased interest in “staycations,” as customers look for attractive, unique places to stay within driving distance from home. Lyft, meanwhile, was among the businesses driving voter participation this quarter, partnering with Nike to give discounted rides to people going to vote early in the election.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Uber64%25%26%33%100
2Lyft55%17%17%11%90
=3Airbnb45%10%13%11%73
=3American Airlines49%11%11%10%73
5United Airlines48%9%9%10%63
6Southwest Airlines38%9%9%7%50
7Booking.com31%8%8%6%35
8TripAdvisor42%7%7%4%30
9Expedia34%6%7%5%25
10JetBlue29%7%7%4%13

Travel

We polled over 677 young people to find out which travel brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Travel is, of course, one of the industries most affected by the pandemic, but our research shows promise that young people will be enthusiastic about returning to their pre-COVID habits when they can. 94% of our survey respondents had spent money on at least one of the travel brands in our list in the past three months. It’s also encouraging to see purchase intent higher than purchase engagement, suggesting they expect to spend on these brands during the festive season and heading into the new year.

Topping the travel chart is Uber, and it’s particularly impressive to see this brand winning in the brand visibility metric, since it’s the youngest in the list. They also had a significant lead in the consideration metric, proving that taking an Uber has become a standard part of life for young people – a convenient and affordable transport option, especially when concerns are high about taking public transport. Uber has retained the trust of anxious young consumers by heavily promoting mask wearing, including the “no mask, no ride” campaign that made their policy firm and clear.

Behind Uber in the top three, we have two home-grown travel brands known for their affordable offering, EasyJet and Premier Inn. In both cases, those who picked each of these brands as the one they were most likely to purchase from emphasised their prices and convenience when explaining their choice. For young people making their first purchases in the travel category, for example taking their first holidays without their parents or booking travel to and from university, affordability and trust are the key factors influencing their spending decisions.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Uber72%30%32%33%100
2EasyJet63%12%12%9%81
3Premier Inn63%9%12%12%74
=4Booking.com56%11%11%10%69
=4British Airways68%10%11%8%69
6Airbnb54%10%11%9%53
7Travelodge58%8%8%6%38
8National Express48%9%10%7%35
9Expedia46%6%7%4%18
10Virgin Atlantic49%5%5%3%15

Health & Beauty

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which in-store fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Our health and beauty top ten is led by two brands that are a household name across America, Walgreens, and CVS. Both retailers were praised by our respondents for being “convenient” and “cheap,” in addition to their comprehensive selection of products. These are the stores that young consumers know they can rely upon for their health and beauty needs. This has never been so true as during the pandemic, where pharmacies have been among the few essential stores able to remain open throughout.

As we look ahead to the next phase of the pandemic, Walgreens and CVS have already confirmed they will partner with the federal government to administer a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. For Walgreens, it’s been a tough year, with a decline in international revenue, but they are now turning a corner, reporting a growth in US sales in the period June-August 2020.

In health and beauty, we see a more distinct gender split than in our results for any other sector. While males cited Walgreens and CVS as the stores they were most likely to shop from, females were more likely to choose Bath & Body Works.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, meliore minimum forensibus et In fact, 1 in 4 females who responded to our survey picked this as their top choice within the sector, out of the 10 options available. Brand engagement and purchase intent were also high for this brand, which is particularly impressive since Bath & Body Works only has 1600 stores, compared to CVS’s almost 10,000 and Walgreens’ around 9000. Using phrases such as “love” and “amazing,” females praised the brand for its candles and perfumes, showing there is demand for a little bit of luxury during tough times.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Walgreens64%34%34%19%98
2CVS64%32%30%21%90
3Bath & Body Works63%28%31%18%83
4Ulta Beauty48%17%20%11%68
5Sephora52%15%16%8%60
6Rite Aid44%16%14%8%53
7e.l.f Cosmetics32%12%13%5%38
8MAC35%8%10%4%33
9Lush28%6%9%4%20
10Bodybuilding.com11%6%4%3%10

Health & Beauty

We polled over 677 young people to find out which in-store fashion brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

Our health and beauty top ten is led by the two biggest high street retailers in this sector, Boots and Superdrug. Based on our demographic data, Boots gained an edge over its top competitor by appealing equally to both genders, whereas Superdrug’s fans are majority female. Both of the top two brands offer a student discount, boosting their student sales and brand loyalty among this influential group.

Already viewed as a British institution, consumers relied on Boots more than ever during lockdown as it was one of a small number of retailers able to stay open throughout. They also introduced new innovations that reinvented their in-store experience for an online audience, such as the virtual beauty counter they launched in June, offering video consultations to provide advice and recommendations from their No7 cosmetics line. Boots also recently announced that they’ll be offering a 12-minute COVID-19 test, reaffirming their position as a brand that has been there for customers through every phase of the pandemic.

Also in our top 5, it’s great to see two ethical brands, The Body Shop and Lush, performing well with Gen Z. While young people are known for their strong values, it’s in the health and beauty sector that we see this influencing purchasing decisions the most, including a preference for cruelty-free and sustainable products. Another Gen Z trend we see in this chart is their passion for fitness. While gym-going has been affected by lockdown and hesitance to return to communal fitness venues, home workouts have taken over and brands such as MyProtein have benefited from this.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Boots69%39%40%29%98
2Superdrug71%35%34%23%93
3The Body Shop64%19%21%6%71
4Gillette56%17%17%10%70
5Lush53%15%18%9%65
6MyProtein31%12%11%7%48
7Pure Gym52%10%9%6%39
=8Beauty Bay28%10%10%4%29
=8MAC46%8%10%4%29
10Fitness First17%6%6%2%10

Restaurants & Takeout

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which restaurant and takeout brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

The majority of our top five in the restaurant and takeout category are fast food, including the top two: McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A. Gen Z may be associated with healthy eating trends, but fast food is still a big part of their lifestyle. A 2020 survey we ran found that 44% of 16- to 24-year-old students eat at fast food restaurants at least once a week and 81% at least once a month. While they may aspire to eat more healthily or ethically, price and convenience will often overcome those desires, along with the impact of these brands’ highly engaging marketing and advertising campaigns.

McDonald’s was a winner across all metrics we surveyed – a familiar brand that is omnipresent in their lives, a source of comfort in 2020’s troubling times. However, it’s impressive to see Chick-Fil-A right behind, considering that they have less than 3000 locations, compared to McDonald’s with almost 14,000, and Starbucks with around 15,000. McDonald’s customers were more likely to cite the low prices as the reason they would choose to eat there, while Chick-Fil-A fans focused more on the taste, with common terms including “delicious” and “amazing.”

An interesting demographic difference in this category was that Starbucks is significantly more popular with females than males, and with students than non-students. This reflects how it represents a particular lifestyle, of settling down with a coffee to catch up with friends or focus on schoolwork, which appeals more to certain segments of Gen Z than others.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1McDonald’s78%56%50%20%100
2Chick-Fil-A73%39%39%18%84
3Starbucks73%39%38%15%80
4Taco Bell71%39%35%7%61
5Burger King73%35%30%7%55
=6Subway72%33%33%7%45
=6Wendy’s72%37%30%5%45
8Dunkin’ Donuts69%29%29%8%38
9Pizza Hut73%27%26%5%28
10Chipotle66%24%25%7%15

Restaurants & Takeaway

We polled over 677 young people to find out which restaurant and takeout brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

The majority of our top five in the restaurant and takeaway category are fast food, including the top two: McDonald’s and KFC. Gen Z may be associated with healthy eating trends, but fast food is still a big part of their lifestyle. A 2020 survey we ran found that 93% of 16- to 24-year-olds had bought from fast food restaurants within the past year. While they may aspire to eat more healthily or ethically, price and convenience will often overcome those desires, along with the impact of these brands’ highly engaging marketing and advertising campaigns.

McDonald’s was a winner across all metrics we surveyed – a familiar brand that is omnipresent in young people’s lives, a source of comfort in 2020’s troubling times. While second-placed KFC was close behind McDonald’s in brand visibility, they scored lower in purchase engagement, purchase intent and consideration, showing that the brand simply isn’t as embedded into youth culture and spending habits. However, McDonald’s customers were most likely to cite the low prices as the reason they would choose to eat there, while KFC fans focused more on the taste, with common terms including “tasty” and “love.”

Elsewhere, in a list dominated by American brands, it’s encouraging to see the British favourite Greggs at number three. Domino’s, meanwhile, has strengthened its relationships with British consumers this year as one of the few food outlets that was able to remain open throughout the pandemic, with demand for pizza delivery soaring when there was little else to distract us from the stress and boredom of lockdown. Additionally, each of the top four in this category runs a student discount program via Student Beans, helping them to secure the loyalty of the younger generation.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1McDonald’s84%64%55%36%100
2KFC82%40%39%12%90
3Greggs74%35%35%10%69
4Domino’s78%35%31%8%65
5Subway79%32%32%8%63
6Starbucks76%27%27%9%55
7Nando’s77%24%27%8%49
8Krispy Kreme65%16%17%3%29
9Wagamama59%12%14%3%21
10Pret a Manger49%10%10%2%10

Tech & Mobile

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which tech and mobile brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

This year Apple became the world’s most valuable company, the first to be valued at $2 trillion, and they can now also celebrate being ranked as the leading tech and mobile brand among UK 16-24s. Our survey revealed that although Apple is perceived as “expensive” by this demographic, its products are considered “great quality.”

The fact that 37% had bought an Apple product in the past three months and 38% planned to do so in the next three months proves they are willing to invest in luxury items and high-value purchases when they’re confident it’ll be worth the money. Since our survey, the iPhone 12 was released, so we predict further growth in the brand engagement metric when we check back in with 16-24s next quarter.

Apple is known for rarely discounting, but it wisely makes an exception for students. Apple understands that by incentivizing young people to choose one of their devices when making their first big tech purchase, they’ll be forming a habit and a loyal relationship that will last for decades to come.

Interestingly, we saw a distinct gender split in this sector. While 47% of females picked Apple as the brand they’d be most likely to shop from, only 31% of males did the same. In contrast, Samsung and Microsoft – the brands of choice for the anti-Apple crew – polled better with males than females. Fans of these brands described them as “reliable,” and specifically praised Samsung for their phones and Microsoft for the Xbox.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Apple75%37%38%40%100
2Google69%21%17%8%83
3Best Buy64%18%19%10%73
4Samsung68%16%15%9%60
5Verizon66%16%15%7%58
6T-mobile65%17%16%7%54
7AT&T64%18%15%7%49
8Microsoft65%18%14%6%45
=9Dell54%9%8%3%15
=9LG Electronics48%7%10%4%15

Tech & Mobile

We polled over 677 young people to find out which tech and mobile brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

This year Apple became the world’s most valuable company, the first to be valued at $2 trillion, and they can now also celebrate being ranked as the leading tech and mobile brand among UK 16-24s. Our survey revealed that although Apple is perceived as “expensive” by this demographic, their products are considered “great quality.” The fact that 31% had bought an Apple product in the past three months and 27% planned to do so in the next three months proves they are willing to invest in luxury items and high value purchases when they’re confident it’ll be worth the money. Since our survey, the iPhone 12 was released, so we predict further growth in the purchase engagement metric when we check back in with 16-24s next quarter.

Apple is known for rarely discounting, but they wisely make an exception for students. Apple understands that by incentivising young people to choose one of their devices when making their first big tech purchase, they’ll be forming a habit and a loyal relationship that will last for decades to come. Similarly, we’re not surprised to see EE ranked in second place in our chart, as the mobile network has seen great results with the youth demographic since launching their student loyalty program with Student Beans.

Interestingly, we saw a distinct gender split in this sector. While 35% of females picked Apple as the brand they’d be most likely to shop from, only 27% of males did the same. In contrast, Samsung, Microsoft and Google – the brands of choice for the anti-Apple crew – polled better with males than females. Fans of these brands described them as “reliable,” and specifically praised Samsung for their phones and Microsoft for the Xbox.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Apple79%31%27%31%100
2EE71%19%15%11%80
3Microsoft74%17%14%9%66
4Google76%17%13%9%65
5Samsung77%15%13%10%61
6Currys PC World69%17%14%10%55
7Sky72%16%15%4%53
8O270%14%12%7%35
9BT69%11%8%2%20
10Carphone Warehouse65%6%8%5%15

Food & Drink

We polled over 1700 young people to find out which food and drink brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

In this category, it’s very close at the top between the world’s largest drinks brand Coca Cola, and Doritos, a snack brand owned by its biggest rivals, PepsiCo. Naturally, Coca Cola wins on the brand recognition metric, but brand engagement and purchase intent are higher for Doritos, suggesting that slightly more 16-24s are in the habit of adding their products to their shopping basket.

Doritos was praised for the variety of flavors available, especially the cheesy and spicy options, as well as its new rewards program and the fact that the chips are gluten-free. Meanwhile, Coke fans love its “classic,” “refreshing” taste, as well as the low or zero-calorie options. Several respondents also mentioned Coke’s sister brands, Sprite and Fanta.

Both Doritos and Coke are more popular with males, whereas fans of Ben & Jerry’s, Hershey’s, and Reese’s skew more female, suggesting female 16-24s have more of a sweet tooth than their male counterparts.

Gen Z is often associated with the rise of veganism and health food trends, and a 2019 survey we conducted found that 83% had changed their eating habits within the past year. However, when it comes to the brands they love, there’s a special place in their hearts for comfort food, even if they know it’s not the most healthy or ethical choice. With Halloween and the holiday season taking place in Q4, we predict we’ll see an increase in brand engagement this quarter for many of the sweet treats featured in our list, such as Hershey’s and Reese’s.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Coca Cola76%47%43%14%95
2Doritos74%49%45%14%94
3Oreo74%45%41%13%79
4Hershey’s73%44%41%10%68
5Pepsi74%38%34%11%58
=6Lay’s65%36%39%9%48
=6Reese’s70%39%37%8%48
8Ben & Jerry’s56%21%23%9%23
=9Nestlé63%24%23%5%20
=9Red Bull64%22%21%7%20

Food & Drink

We polled over 677 young people to find out which food and drink brands resonate most with them. Here you’ll find the results of our quarterly survey and our analysis of the latest trends in this sector. Get started by filtering the graphs by the metrics you’re most interested in.

Key Takeaways:

In this category, it’s very close at the top between the world’s largest drinks brand Coca Cola, and Cadbury’s, a British institution when it comes to snacks and treats. Naturally, Coca Cola wins on the brand visibility metric, but purchase engagement and purchase intent are higher for Cadbury’s, suggesting that slightly more 16-24s are in the habit of adding their products to their shopping basket.

Coca Cola is more popular with males, whereas fans of Cadbury’s and Ben & Jerry’s skew more female, suggesting female 16-24s have more of a sweet tooth than their male counterparts. We also found that Innocent, the healthiest option on the list, polled better both with females and with undergraduate students, in comparison to non-students.

Gen Z is often associated with the rise of veganism and health food trends, and a 2019 survey we conducted found that 81% had changed their eating habits within the past year. However, when it comes to the brands they love, there’s a special place in their hearts for comfort food, even if they know it’s not the most healthy or ethical choice.

This has been more important than ever this year, as little luxuries have helped us get through the difficult months. And with Halloween and the holiday season taking place in Q4, we predict we’ll see an increase in purchase engagement this quarter for many of the sweet treats featured in our list, such as Cadbury’s, Galaxy and Maltesers.

Leaderboard:

Leaderboard Q4 2020

The top 3 brands that are winning with Gen Z in this sector, based on our Youth Affinity Score.

Full Results:

Brand NameBrand visibilityPurchase engagementPurchase intentConsiderationYouth affinity score
1Coca Cola81%52%47%18%95
2Cadbury’s78%53%49%17%93
3Pepsi78%42%37%9%76
4Oreo76%40%37%8%61
5Ben & Jerry’s73%34%36%14%50
6Galaxy76%37%36%7%46
7Walkers73%43%37%5%45
8Red Bull76%24%22%7%36
9Maltesers72%31%30%7%25
10Innocent55%20%19%9%23

Unlock the latest results

Complete your details to reveal the standings this quarter, access exclusive sector insights and see which brands are winning with Gen Z right now.

Unlock the latest results

Complete your details to reveal the standings this quarter, access exclusive sector insights and see which brands are winning with Gen Z right now.

Want to see your brand at the top of the chart next quarter?

Quarterly Commentary

Q4 2020

This quarter marks the conclusion of a year that no retail analyst could have predicted, where all norms have been disrupted. We’re now in the midst of the busiest annual shopping period, and retailers across every sector are figuring out how to serve their customers during a holiday season like none we’ve seen before. Every business has been forced to adapt, but it will be those who provide comfort and togetherness over the coming months who will enter 2021 with a stronger, more loyal customer base.

Gen Z has faced massive disruption in their lives this year, but they’ve faced it with their typical resilience and community spirit. Our latest research revealed that the majority have returned to the industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

In the previous three months, 91% had bought from at least one of the top 10 restaurants we listed, and over half had spent money on one or more of the leading travel brands. We’re also seeing sectors such as health and beauty, grocery, tech and mobile, and entertainment thriving during this time.

We can’t downplay the impact of a combined health and financial crisis, but we’re seeing positive signs that young consumers are keen to return to spending across each of the sectors they’re most passionate about. Gen Z is looking ahead to a new year with optimism and determination to enjoy life, no matter the circumstances. As a brand, your opportunity is to empower them to achieve their goals and be part of making 2021 a year to remember.

Methodology

Youth Affinity data is gathered every quarter, using the independent research panel provider Cint to reach a nationally representative panel of over 1,700 young people aged 16-24, in line with US census data. The Q4 survey took place in October 2020.

For each sector, we provided respondents with a list of 10 leading brands. For each brand, they were asked:

  • Brand visibility: which brand names they were most aware of
  • Purchase engagement: whether they had purchased from them in the past three months
  • Consideration: to select the one brand from the list that they would be most likely to purchase from and to state the reason for their choice
  • Purchase intent: whether they expected to buy from them in the next three months
  • They also stated the one word they would use to describe each brand

These four metrics were combined to calculate a Youth Affinity Score for each brand, which we have used to create a ranking of the top 10 in each sector.

Quarterly Commentary

Q4 2020

This quarter marks the conclusion of a year that no retail analyst could have predicted, where all norms have been disrupted. We’re now in the midst of the busiest annual shopping period, and retailers across every sector are figuring out how to serve their customers during a holiday season like none we’ve seen before. Every business has been forced to adapt, but it will be those who provide comfort and togetherness over the coming months who will enter 2021 with a stronger, more loyal customer base.

Gen Z has faced massive disruption in their lives this year, but they’ve faced it with their typical resilience and community spirit. Our latest research revealed that the majority have returned to the industries that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

In the previous three months, 93% had bought from at least one of the top 10 restaurants we listed, and 60% had spent money on one or more of the leading travel brands. We’re also seeing sectors such as health and beauty, supermarkets, tech and mobile, and entertainment thriving during this time.

We can’t downplay the impact of a combined health and financial crisis, but we’re seeing positive signs that young consumers are keen to return to spending across each of the sectors they’re most passionate about. Gen Z is looking ahead to a new year with optimism and determination to enjoy life, no matter the circumstances. As a brand, your opportunity is to empower them to achieve their goals and be part of making 2021 a year to remember.

Methodology

Youth Affinity data is gathered every quarter, using the independent research panel provider Cint to reach a nationally representative panel of over 677 young people aged 16-24, in line with UK census data. The Q4 survey took place in October 2020.

For each sector, we provided respondents with a list of 10 leading brands. For each brand, they were asked:

  • Brand visibility: which brand names they were most aware of
  • Purchase engagement: whether they had purchased from them in the past three months
  • Consideration: to select the one brand from the list that they would be most likely to purchase from and to state the reason for their choice
  • Purchase intent: whether they expected to buy from them in the next three months
  • They also stated the one word they would use to describe each brand

These four metrics were combined to calculate a Youth Affinity Score for each brand, which we have used to create a ranking of the top 10 in each sector.

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