What does Gen Z care about? Their favorite brands, social causes revealed

Generation Z might perplex both Millennials and Boomers with their unique tastes and worldview, but a recent survey conducted by Piper Sandler hoped to narrow down the specific interests of the Internet Generation. 

According to the survey, 15% of Gen Z teens say Chick-fil-A is their favorite restaurant, while 12% say Starbucks is their favorite. . Chipotle, McDonald’s and Olive Garden rounded out the top 5.

As for shopping, it appears that actually going to the mall is so 2006. 52% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-comm site. Nike remains the No. 1 top clothing brand.

"Within apparel, athletic is still the dominant trend, with Nike remaining strong and Lululemon hitting new highs. Vans fell out of the top 10 favorite apparel brands. Interestingly, the athletic apparel trend may be peaking with 44% of upper-income teens preferring apparel brands that are ‘athletic,’ flat to our Spring 2022 survey," said Edward Yruma, senior research analyst with Piper Sandler.

Gen Z worldview 

The environment ranked at the number one issue plaguing Gen Z. Abortion was number 2 while racial equality came at number three. Inflation and gas prices followed behind to round out the top 5 list. 

"GenZ is known to be a conscious generation, and teens this fall cited the environment as their top concern. 53% of consumers consider carbon footprint when making purchase decisions. Interestingly, the Russia/Ukraine invasion was the top concern in Spring 2022 but did not make the top 10 in Fall 2022. Abortion moved up to the No. 2 concern," said Yruma.

A different style of consumerism 

For the current youngest generation of adults, tech companies like YouTube, Google, Netflix and Amazon are the favored corporate brands, according to a separate  survey from Morning Consult

Like the Piper Sandler survey stated, most purchases for this generation are made online where brands are able to thrive in ways they couldn't before. Some new popular tech companies on Gen Z's radar includes Discord, a popular chat app, and Shein, a Chinese-based fast-fashion company. 

The interest in these brands is interesting for advertisers because people ages 18-25 appear to have a higher spending power than previous generations.