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A ton of industries are selling things Gen Z doesn't care about, like alcohol, razorblades, and even cars

A ton of industries are selling things Gen Z doesn't care about, like alcohol, razorblades, and even cars
  • A Bank of America Research primer on Gen Z entitled "OK Zoomer" highlights the rising generation's new consumer spending habits — and lots of incumbent industries aren't popular.
  • The report found that Gen Z, those born between the years 1996 and 2016, prioritizes sustainability, activism, and technology.
  • With Gen Z expected to overtake millennials in global spending power by 2031, five major consumer products have been deemed at risk of missing the Gen Z spending train.
  • Gen Z's spending habits will likely be most different for cars, razorblades, alcohol, golfing — and doorbells.

If businesses thought millennials had a reputation for ruining things, then they haven't seen Generation Z yet.

A new BofA Global Research primer on Gen Z entitled "OK Zoomer" revealed that the generation born between 1996 and 2016 could spell trouble for numerous industries, including automobiles, alcohol, and shopping malls. For the report, Bank of America polled over 14,500 people over the age of 16 in the US, UK, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, India, Mexico, and Brazil. The poll was conducted via SurveyMonkey in August 2020.

The trouble has to do with Gen Z's values, which differ significantly from previous cohorts, with major implications for future spending. Sustainability, tech-savviness, and activism have taken hold, posing risks to lots of things the economy produces in huge quantities.

For example, BofA found that 31% of Gen Zers believe going into debt for a car is unnecessary, compared to about 25% of millennials. Furthermore, while 41% of millennials said they were thinking about buying a car next year, only 31% of 18-to-24-year-olds said the same thing.

BofA predicts Gen Z's global income will grow to $33 trillion in 2030, eventually surpassing that of millennials in 2031.

This economic spending power means Gen Zers have a sizeable influence over the industries they wish to invest in and keep around. Right now, those deemed safe include luxury, eCommerce, and big technology platforms. Keep scrolling to find out what's at risk of having its fate sealed by Generation Z.

Cars

Cars
Parked cars. Alan Schein Photography/Getty

BofA found that although Gen Zers account for 14.8% of eligible drivers, only 11.7% of licensed drivers belong to the generation. Indeed, the number of teenagers obtaining driver's licenses is slowly falling, the report said, from 69.3% in 1978 to 51.7% in 2011.

Thirty-one percent of Gen Zers polled said they found car debt to be unnecessary, with 60% saying they didn't mind using shared mobility services.

Furthermore, 31% of Gen Zers said they were fine with the possibility of having a robot drive them, compared to just 13% of boomers. Interest in low-carbon transportation is also on the rise, BofA said.

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Shaving razors

Shaving razors
Photo by Joel Sharpe /Getty Images

The report cites a comment made by the CFO of P&G, who said the US has seen an 11% decline in men's shaving products over the past five years, citing data from Euromonitor.

The US men's razor and blades market fell to $2.2 billion in 2018 from $2.4 billion in 2015, Euromonitor found.

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Alcohol

Alcohol
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Most Gen Zers of legal drinking age in their respective countries claim to not be drinking as much as previous generations, according to the BofA report.

Also, about half of legal Gen Z drinkers say they don't drink at all, compared with 31% of millennials. Only 21% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 say they drink more than once a week.

In the US, underage drinking has been on the decline, though it's declining slower for girls than for boys. The survey reported that between 2009 and 2019, underage drinking in boys between 12 and 20 fell from 28.5% to 17.2%, and from 25.8% to 19.9% for girls in the same age range.

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Golfing

Golfing
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Citing data from CB Insights and the National Golf Foundation, BofA reports that golf has struggled to attract Generation Z and that since the mid-1990s, the number of 18-to-35-year-olds who play golf fell from 9 million to 6 million. Since 2008, the game has lost nearly 5 million players overall.

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Doorbells

Doorbells
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Many Gen Zers and millennials would rather text someone that they are outside of their homes instead of ring a doorbell, BofA reported. The trend was previously reported in a 2017 Wall Street Journal article in which one 20-year-old described doorbells as "terrifying."

Jim Waterson, media editor at the Guardian, conducted a Twitter poll in 2017 which surveyed 11,502 people, 54.4% of which said that doorbells were "scary weird."

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