Millennials, Gen Zers and Anxiety Consumerism

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Have you heard of the latest trend hitting the retail industry? It’s called anxiety consumerism. A trend that sadly has been brought to the fore due to the rising number of people diagnosed with anxiety. Currently, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting about 18% of the adult population and a whopping 25% of the child population. So, it’s clear to see why the market for products built to calm us down has been busted wide open. The past few years have seen a jump in sales for products such as adult coloring books and essential oils and diffusers. And more recently, for products like fidget spinners and weighted blankets –  this time with marketing aimed more towards the younger group suffering from this mental health condition.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to see anxiety taking over every generation in this country. Our study, 8 Truths About Gen Z from 2016 predicted this very trend, stating that their “off-the-charts anxiety” that stemmed from growing up during a stage of crisis would move them to seek out ways to gain calmness and peace of mind. And this stage of crisis doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. With the shaky worldwide political landscape, major natural disasters happening every year and the day-to-day struggle between the Haves and Have-Nots these young teens are only growing into young adults with anxiety. Is there any hope for this dire situation?

As a follow up to our previous study, we were curious to find out exactly how the younger generations are learning to cope with their anxiety. Our latest infographic, Understanding Anxiety in Gen Z and Millennials (July 2018), finds a multitude of coping strategies named, however none of the products listed above make it into the top 5.

While it remains to be seen what happens with the overall anxiety epidemic taking over the country, and if anxiety consumerism will really take off, it’s good to know that people are becoming more self-aware and are taking action with their health and wellness.

Looking for more on mental health? Click here for our Millennials and Mental Health infographic.

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