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Gen Alpha Kids Are Already Influential Consumers

girl in white sweater holding ice cream, gen alpha kids

Gen Alpha kids – comprised of children with birth years starting in 2013 – have already developed powerful brand affinities, according to the latest survey from Morning Consult.

By 2025, Gen Alpha will number more than two billion, making it the largest generation ever. And the young consumers’ influence is already apparent when it comes to categories like fast food. Morning Consult found that Gen Alpha’s favorite restaurant, by far, is McDonald’s. About 37% of Gen Alpha parents said their kids’ favorite restaurant was McDonald’s; Chick-fil-A was in a distant second with 6%.

Also of note: while Gen Alpha parents (who are predominantly millennials) tend to be health conscious, 43% said their children eat fast food at least once per week.

“The Chick-fil-A model is a great one to emulate,” Bob Vergidis, chief visionary officer at pointofsale.cloud, told The Food Institute. “The food has to be good; we’re dealing with parents that are more knowledgeable in nutrition now than in any previous parent generation. They can easily look up information on their phones.

“It’s pretty simple for restaurants: serve food that’s good,” Vergidis added.

Gen Alpha also watches a ton of YouTube, as noted by Business Insider. Roughly 54% of young children have tablets these days, meaning they watch a steady stream of YouTube, Netflix, and Disney+. And what Gen Alpha sees online and in streaming videos influences its retail preferences, according to 56% of the parents surveyed.

“Gen Alpha,” Vergidis noted, “is completely digital native, and it’s raised by information-aware parents. As a result, they know how their friends are trending, how the industry is trending. They are informed constantly and, as a result, they have strong opinions about what they expect.”

Other noteworthy findings from the Morning Consult survey included:

  • 66% of Gen Alpha parents indicated it’s very important to them that they purchase fruits and vegetables for their kids
  • 56% of parents said their kids watch shopping content like unboxing videos, which give them ideas about new products
  • Roughly 50% of Gen Alpha parents are currently preoccupied with their finances
  • 43% said “my children regularly play online games with friends”
  • 7% indicated Goldfish crackers are their kids’ favorite snack

A recent report by Shopify suggested that, while Gen Alpha kids log heavy screen time, that’s not necessarily all bad news.

“Despite exposure to more of the issues plaguing the world, Gen Alpha is hopeful,” Shopify wrote. “Through technologies, they have a window into ideas and cultures outside their bubble.”

Brick-and-mortar stores still have an impact on children, too. Morning Consult revealed that 85% of kids currently aged 5 to 9 years have asked their parents for something they saw during a shopping trip, for example.

The Food Institute Podcast

Click the play button above to listen to the episode.

How did a small sub shop from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, grow into a 2,400-store operation across 50 states? Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems Inc. senior vice president Caroline Jones shares the company’s evolution after deciding to franchise the concept in 1987. Additionally, Jones shares stories of growing up in the business, and how the company’s philanthropic efforts help to endear franchise locations to each community they serve.