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Why supermarkets should embrace mental health

and why it will make them win Gen-Z’s ❤️ and loyalty

Being outside. Cooking together. Laughing. For Generation Z living healthy means to strive happiness. We talked with our panel of 18 to 25-year-olds all around the globe, and learned how they conquer their biggest health challenges. And what this means for supermarkets.

Stronger minds, stronger life

Mental health is hot. And has been for a little while now. Generation-Z’s perspective on healthy living goes beyond that of previous generations. Instead of solely focusing on physical health, Gen-Z prioritises their emotional well-being. According to them, being happy is only possible if your mental and physical health are well-balanced. What makes this interesting? Everything they do, even keeping up with their level of fitness, is driven by the motivation to boost their mind and take care of their mental selves. #selfcare

“Not being stressed all the time due to work/life commitments. Just generally being balanced and having good relationships with friends and family.” (23 year-old in London)

“Having an open mind, being willing to help and learn, and be positive to deal with negative things.” (24 year-old in Shanghai)

Self-care is not fixed. It’s personal.

We asked the youngsters to track their healthy habits throughout four days in a normal week. Without any restrictions of ‘what’ a healthy habit is, they shared loads of essentials to their mental health.

A grasp on their health routines:

  • listen to a bunch of podcasts to keep their mind distracted and boost it with inspiration about the world
  • grow plants for therapeutic reasons
  • take walks to avoid stressful Underground systems
  • dance with YouTube influencers to trigger their serotonin levels
  • start vegetarian diets to contribute to a greener world
  • welcome a pet; cuddle and play to reduce stress
  • food prepping to cut down on unnecessary spends and thus reduce financial stress

This qualitative approach of research very well captured their attitude and showed us a common belief among this generation globally: taking care of their mental health is a top priority. However, self-care is not fixed. It’s personal.

“We need to reframe what it means to take care of ourselves, because doing deep breathing, reading a book, listening to a podcast, and going for a walk are all forms of self-care (…) Otherwise, self-care doesn’t feel accessible for those without certain levels of finances.” Jessmina Archbold in Making Self-Care Tactical — Why You Should Focus on Boundaries, Not Just Bubble Baths

A retail strategy that resonates

Generation-Z, who make up 30% of the global population today, will make up the biggest proportion of the population in the next 10 years. However, their influence today is already incredibly important. Therefore, it’s crucial for supermarkets to truly connect with these shoppers of the future and to reshape their strategy to one that resonates with their beliefs. Because Gen-Z does not only make decisions based on price or quality. They take their values and emotional well-being serious.

Why they buy vegan options? 🌍
Probably not so much because they believe it is more healthy for themselves, but rather for the planet.

Why they collect for Tupperware? 🥵
Probably not only because it helps them to eat more healthy, but also to save money and thus reduce their financial stress.

Gen-Z may not require you to change WHAT you do, but HOW you do it. To attract Gen-Z and let them belief your message, supermarkets need to understand what health means to them and address what drives them to be healthy. And for that, look further than only the ‘tangible’ USPs of their brand and start to understand that self-care requires a multi-faceted approach that taps into five different dimensions: physical, social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual.


How we got these insights 💡

Last year, BrandLoyalty built a connected collective of Gen-Z’ers across the Globe. We’re continuously looking at future generations’ objections, needs and wishes to translate into pragmatic solutions, ready to be implemented tomorrow. Because remember, Gen-Z is growing up. In five years from now, the first half of Gen-Z is heading 30. Which makes them the next group of shoppers that will determine the future of retail and your loyalty strategy.

🤓 Want to learn more about how we approach research and how it ties into our work? 👇🏻👇🏼👇🏽👇🏾👇🏿

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Liefke van den Boom

Liefke van den Boom

Strategy Facilitator | Workshop Designer | Ethnographer | UX | Visual Thinker