rational materialism is the new consumption trend of young people.
Author: Zhang Chenyang; Editor: Tang Yeqin; Design: Qi Tonghui; This article is reproduced from DT Finance (ID: dtcaijing).
Carefully select and check small dishes when ordering takeout; In the front of the double 11, do mathematical problems to calculate the cost performance; Look for flat replacement and sample when buying cosmetics; Rush to the bakery at 8 p.m. to buy discounted temporary bread…
Contemporary young people seem to be becoming “stingy”.
Job changes, emotional changes, continuous epidemics, sudden public events… Contemporary youth are a generation living in uncertainty. Their consumption concepts and decision-making have changed, which is also affected by various uncertainties.
In the uncertain life, is the consumption view of contemporary youth returning to conservatism? What do they really care about in consumption?
Some time ago, together with meituan takeout, we launched a contemporary youth consumption survey, and a total of 2100 friends contributed their answers. Among them, the post-00s, post-95s and post-90s account for 70% (69.5%), so you can also think that this is a consumption observation for young people aged 18-32.
Young consumers care about price
But there are two cases, discount to “fracture” they do not place an order
Although there are many jokes about young people’s “stingy” on social networks, from this consumption survey: young people are not really stingy, but because they tend to rational and practical consumption and no longer “waste” their money on impractical elements.
When answering the question “what aspects of goods or services do you usually care more about when placing an order”, more than 70% of the respondents chose “quality”, which ranked first in all age groups except after 00. After 2000, the vote rate of “own needs” was slightly better and ranked first.
Young consumers are indeed more concerned about “price” than their predecessors, but it can only rank third among a number of factors. For everyone, if the quality of goods is not good or they don’t need it, it’s cheap and unattractive.
The most popular elements in the hearts of young people do not care about the effect of placing orders, such as popularity. After all, this generation of young people live in the social era. The overwhelming Marketing often creates fake popularity, and various online popularity evaluations are often buried.
This is also reflected in young people’s thinking about the significance of consumption. Consumption is first “useful” to themselves, which is recognized by more than 70% of the respondents, followed by buying healthy and safe “life security” (64.6%) and meeting spiritual needs (55.8%). Few people will spend blindly in order to prove their economic level or class status.
In this survey, we also conducted a simple consumer personality assessment and found four mainstream consumer personalities popular among young people today (more than one-third of them choose this type, and some have multiple personalities), which are as follows:
Rational Analyst (56.6%), practical practitioner (53.1%), perfectionist (34.8%) and zero waste expert (33.0%).
Although the consumption patterns are different, in general, the consumption of young people is returning to “rational pragmatism” – what makes people decide whether to place an order is whether the goods or services themselves are good or not and whether they really need them, rather than for the sake of cheap, comparison or following the trend.
Don’t dig “money” but dig “things”
7 adults want to try not to eat leftovers
Returning to the practice of daily life, the rational pragmatism of young consumers is specifically reflected in: on the one hand, young people find the “best goods” they need by various means before consumption: according to the survey data, more than 60% of respondents will make strategies before shopping, and 50% will actively seek commodity coupons. They will start from quality and price to seek the best cost performance in consumption.
On the other hand, young people also try not to buy too much or wrong, dispose of “surplus” reasonably and realize “zero waste”.
In other words, their real “stingy” point is not money, but the 100% utilization of “things”.
The data show that people will dispose of the “excess” of buying too much or buying wrong by returning goods (38.5%) and second-hand disposal (29.3%).
After double 11 and 00 last year, Xiao Zhang hung his idle clothes on idle fish for sale. Some bought clothes that he only wore once, and some did it without liking after buying them. In her opinion, although these items are not expensive, they are still valuable. “It’s too wasteful to throw them away directly. They’re just not suitable for me.”
In terms of demand, young people are also committed to “buying just right”. Many people will compete with others to buy goods (49%) and small samples (38.4%), so as to avoid buying too much. In the scene of daily eating, when ordering, 7 adults tend to order dishes that are suitable for themselves and try not to leave leftovers.
According to the data of meituan takeout, from April 2021 to March 2022, the order volume of meituan takeout “small dishes” increased month by month. In February and March this year, the year-on-year growth rate reached 195% and 127% respectively (“small dishes” refers to the small quantity options provided by meituan’s takeout merchants, providing convenience for young people who eat “one person” and “business meals”).
Among them, “braised chicken small portion + rice” has become the most popular small portion dish with high quality, low price and rich nutrition. Italian meat sauce noodles, super supreme pizza, pickled cabbage fish and so on are also popular.
The younger, the more like “green”:
“Garbage is not waste, but items that have not been properly placed”
On the other hand, we also found that in terms of consumption concept, post-95 and Post-00 are the groups with the strongest “green consumption awareness”. They pay attention to grand propositions such as global warming and glacier melting, shed tears for the homeless polar bear in the documentary, and will also implement environmental awareness into specific consumption.
In the process of consumption, they can’t stand poor quality (70.5%) and IQ tax (58.3%), and refuse unhealthy or environmentally friendly goods (34.9%) – the proportion of people who can’t stand this phenomenon even exceeds “price reduction and promotion just after buying”.
Lin Zi (a pseudonym), a post-95 environmental protection consumer, told DT Jun that “environmental protection” is not difficult. His environmental protection is implemented in specific clothing, food, housing and transportation: for example, when ordering takeout, check the option of “no tableware” and use his own tableware; When drinking milk tea, use degradable paper straw and “bring your own cup” when ordering coffee; If you go out, take the subway or ride a shared bike as much as possible. It’s cheap and there’s no traffic jam.
In addition, some items can also be reused: the towels that should be thrown away can be left to wipe the floor again, the glass wine bottle is washed and used to arrange flowers. It looks good, and the large coke bottle is an excellent container for storing food
She believes that the generation of a lot of garbage is unnecessary because “they are not useless waste, but items that have not been reasonably placed”.
How do we understand the rational pragmatism of young consumption?
Based on the above, we believe that young people’s consumption is moving towards “rational pragmatism”: careful calculation, rational consumption and acting according to their ability.
First, the practicality of “quantity”: buy as much as you need, and don’t waste money or materials; Second, the practicality of “quality”: value the attributes of the commodity itself, including whether the ingredients are environmentally friendly, and reject the brand premium; Third, the practicality of “choice”: I buy only when I need it, refuse to follow suit, and refuse to be brainwashed by advertising.
Therefore, the core of “rational pragmatism” is not frugality, not stinginess, but rejecting superfluous and waste and establishing self criteria for things.
We can explain this consumption concept in this way——
We are in an era of material abundance. “In an era of scarcity, people focus on absorption. In an era of surplus, the problem is how to exclude and reject”. Therefore, in the current consumption, the important thing is not how to obtain a certain item, but how to select the right item from the dazzling options.
And “rational pragmatism” is stepping on this mentality.
It makes the goods return to their own use value, which will not change with the changes of brand, spokesperson and social aesthetics.
It also allows people to see their “internal needs”. A commodity may be “small and expensive but of good quality and durability”, or “second-hand and cost-effective”. Importantly, it is their own needs, not those of others or consumerism.
This is a good explanation for why young people are “stingy and generous”: they will shop around and haggle over a few dollars, but they won’t buy a takeout that is too big for them because they are greedy for cheap; They will search the whole network for the “flat replacement” of ladies’ cosmetics, and are willing to buy cloth bags for tens of dollars instead of free plastic bags.
“Stingy” is to be vigilant against desire and turn away waste; “Generosity” is to see the inner needs and pursue the quality of life.
As Thoreau said in Walden, “my way of life has at least this advantage over those who have to go outside to find entertainment, enter society or go to the theater, because my life itself is entertainment, and it is always novel.”
Rational pragmatism consumption is not the degradation of consumption, but the “return to nature” of consumption. In the current environment with rich materials, complex options and a lot of waste, we can still see our desires, and we still have the ability to anchor our own life.
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