They are the “things” that people prioritize when spending their time, money, and attention. They are concrete expressions of culture. This research offers brands and marketers important insights to win over consumers from all generational cohorts.
Learn more in this download from our Engage Gen Z and Millennial Passion Points presentation.
What matters most to Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z?
Our topline results show that consumers generally opt for TV and Movies, Music, and Food. Boomers and Gen Z consumers tend to have more fluctuations in their passions with higher peaks and lower valleys than Gen X and Millennials. Boomers are more likely to say they are interested in religion, while Gen Z over-indexes in music and games. Gen Xers often find themselves between Millennials and Boomers, such as their passion for traveling.
Millennials, known for their love of new experiences, are significantly more interested in staying active than the older two generations.
Beyond these top-line results, we have much insight as to which generational cohorts over or under-index on various topics such as movies & tv shows, music, food and travel.
Here are four important data points from the study:
1. Movies & TV Shows
On the left, you see the favorite movie genres for the total population. Comedy and Action/Adventure are the overall winners. On the right, though, we see the responses of each generational cohort.
Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to prefer genres like horror (Gen Z), fantasy, and animation, including anime. Gen X and Boomers, however, are more likely to choose a drama, thriller, or science fiction option.
2. Music & Audio
Looking through the chart, you’ll see that the generations have distinct tastes in music genres – at least between older and younger generations. For the total population, Rock is most popular, with 42 percent of consumers saying it is in their top three music genres. But both younger generations under-index on rock music. Especially Gen Z, where only 25 percent say they choose rock. Gen Z and Millennials over-index on liking Hip-Hop and R&B and are more open to K-pop as well.
This is aligned with what we know about younger generations generally – they’re more racially and ethnically diverse, and this is reflected in their diverse music tastes as well.
When it comes to food, one big question is whether American consumers consider themselves “foodies,” who prioritize taste and experiential eating, or “health nuts,” who prioritize nutrition and diets.
Here, we see that more Americans consider themselves “Foodies” than “Health Nuts.”
We also see some interesting generational variation here.
On the left, we see that about half of Americans consider themselves “Foodies,” and that Millennials – at 61 percent – is more likely than all other generations to believe this. And on the right, we see that less than a third of the total population considers themselves “health nuts.” Gen Z and Gen X consumers hold to that average, but the big differences lie between Millennials and Boomers.
So far, we’ve seen a lot of trends hold to a younger vs older dichotomy, but when it comes to food-related identity, Millennials really stand out as being food-focused. Boomers are not as focused on considering themselves a foodie or a health nut. While most Americans call themselves “foodies,” Millennial Americans lead the “health nut” trend.
For many people, the main tossup is between domestic versus international travel.
On average at the total population level, consumers are pretty split between the two, but preference for domestic taking a slight lead.
However when we break the data down by generation, we see a pretty clear pattern amongst consumers.
Younger people have a distinctly stronger desire to travel abroad – especially Gen Z, at 61%, they are significantly more likely than all other generations. Millennials are an even split. Older generations are where we see a stronger preference for domestic travel. Boomers are the most likely generation to prefer traveling within the US over traveling abroad – about three in four. Perhaps driven by a desire to stay closer to home.