Gen Z Wants Product Samples and Don’t Care Where They Get Them
By Bobby Johnson
August 17, 2022
By Bobby Johnson
August 17, 2022
Everyone knows the importance of product sampling, that’s hardly news. However, a glut of new reports and studies have revealed that Gen Z not only loves sampling, but it plays a large part in why they shop where they shop. Product sampling also has a huge effect on what they buy.
Using the latest data, we’re going to walk you through why product samples are such a smart move for capturing Gen Z’s attention in the marketplace.
Gen Zers aren’t a wealthy generation–yet–but what they do have they spend on food and entertainment. If your brand is creating or marketing food, beverages, or entertainment products, Gen Z is your target.
According to Mintel’s “Market Factors and Current Opportunities” report, only 32% of Gen Z have a full-time job. That doesn’t leave much room for spending on bills, which are likely being taken care of by parents.
This means most Gen Z buyers are spending their cash on personal products like food, clothes, entertainment, and beauty. For CPG, restaurant, and beverage brands, Gen Z are a major market. However, because of their tighter budgets, Gen Z can’t just buy everything that looks interesting. They have to be more selective.
Mintel’s “Marketing to Generation Z” report in 2021 found that of all cohorts surveyed, Gen Z was most concerned with price when shopping. In fact, they said choosing the lowest price is their most common strategy.
So, you’ve got a generation that spends primarily on food, drinks, and entertainment, but they want to spend smartly. They have to be picky.
Where this data becomes incredibly useful to CPG marketers is where this necessarily-frugal mindset and tendency toward food/drink spending dovetails with Gen Z’s higher willingness to return to physical stores.
Gen Z is going back to physical restaurants and stores, which is the perfect opportunity to give them in-person samples.
Dataessential’s “Mid-Year Trend Report” shows that when polling across all generations, Gen Z was the most willing to go back to restaurants. A recent Kearney study also found that Gen Z–despite their digital reputation–prefers shopping in stores.
A Kearney study found that 81% of Gen Zers polled prefer in-store shopping. Most said they like finding new products in-store (73%), while 65% said they go in-store specifically to try products out. This same study showed that 86% of the Gen Z shoppers they spoke to were specifically looking for promotions, exclusives, giveaways, contests, and samples when they shop in-store.
Funny enough, Gen Z is also the most likely to order their food through a delivery service. Dataessential’s report found that 26% of Gen Zers plan to use delivery services more often than they already are. Basically, Gen Z wants to buy more food than every other generation and they don’t care if it’s in-person or delivered to their door.
Gen Z not only loves product samples, but they’re also a huge part of their decision-making process.
Advantage Solutions recently released an illuminating survey called “Gen Z Wants Product Samples – With a Few Changes, Please.” A full 70% of those surveyed claimed that food samples greatly influence their purchases.
There’s a bit of a gender difference in Gen Z’s opinion of sampling, though. Overall, the data showed that a food or beverage sample was more likely to influence men than women. However, food still ranked highest for women (at 51% to men’s 60%), with their second place sample-of-choice going to beauty samples.
The Advantage Solutions study also found that Gen Z isn’t picky about where they receive samples and are happy to try them pretty much anywhere. Almost 75% will try samples at big box stores like Walmart, over 60% will try grocery store samples, and over 50% would love sampling at experiential marketing events, concerts, or festivals. Many even said they’d try free samples at a doctor’s office or at a gym.
Delivery samples aren’t out of the question for Gen Z, either. The survey found that around 60% would try a product sample that had been bagged along with their grocery delivery. Over 50% said they’d love a product sample in unrelated deliveries like a subscription box or even a clothing order.
Gen Z clearly doesn’t put a lot of boundaries around their love of samples, so don’t limit your brand’s sampling efforts out of a sense of propriety.
Gen Z wants to try your products and they’ll give them a shot in almost any medium. Mix and match your efforts, partner with other brands.
Bring in Gen Z with a live music event by hosting a pop-up. Pair with an online retailer to include samples in their shipments. Maybe even work with DoorDash and Uber Eats to include a sample along with food delivery.
With Gen Z open to such a wide array of venues for product sampling, it can be a little overwhelming for marketers to decide where to start. Product sampling in-store is always a great decision, but expanding to live events can require a bit more planning.
Inspira Marketing creates live marketing events for some of the largest CPG brands in the world, and can help you set up any kind of sampling event for your product.
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