Retail in Asia

In Trends

Decoding Gen Z’s priorities as they come of age

It’s no surprise brands all over the world have been preparing for Gen Z. The cohort is projected to comprise quarter of Asia Pacific’s population by 2025, and estimated to wield global spending power of about USD140 billion by 2030. 

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Global trend forecaster WGSN has revealed five pillars of Gen Z’s consumer behaviours in Asia-Pacific as they come of age.   


The underlying driver for Gen Z behaviour in Asia Pacific is self-empowerment, and with that comes a need to discover and define their identities. They are finding new ways to define who they are, both online and offline, and more than six in 10 (63 percent) of Asian youths say they are inclined to express their thoughts and opinions more openly. 

“Gen Z consumers across the region are fundamentally changing the way they live, work and consume, with new implications for brands,” said Alison Ho, analyst at WGSN.

With reopened borders in the past year, travel is also emerging as a means of self-discovery for the group, and unique, meaningful experiences are set to win them over.

Intentional wellness

Wellness is a status symbol for Gen Z, and they are prepared to take charge of their overall well-being. From outdoor exploration to seeking moments of joy through toys, new wellness rituals are on the rise. And both traditional religious practices and New Age spiritual experimentation are resonating with Gen Z. 

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In China, for instance, Gen Z’s desire for stress relief recently led digital apps for muyu, a type of wooden block used in Buddhist and Taoist chanting rituals, to go viral.

Pan-Asian creativity

In Asia Pacific, a newfound appreciation for tradition is driving a creative renaissance characterised by nostalgia and kitsch. WGSN’s Ho says, “From a creative standpoint, a slew of emerging local and regional creative collectives are recontextualising cultural relics to take neo-Asian kitsch mainstream.”

Work 3.0

It’s not all about the hustle for Gen Z. Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) APAC youths equate success with a healthy work-life balance, prioritising their own health and personal priorities. They are also discovering new aspirations beyond the mainstream and practising more fluid ways of working. 

Consumption and money

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One in three youths in Asia consider their finances to be of importance to their overall wellbeing. Almost seven in 10 (68 percent) APAC youths said they were comfortable with managing their own finances, which means they see themselves being able to balance their spending with long-term financial security. 

“Younger consumers who grew up amid the aftershocks of the global financial crisis as well as economic optimism and rising income levels, are taking control of their finances and actively learning how to create micro-moments of indulgence on a limited budget,” Ho says.