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Gen Z consumers shaping the fitness industry

Gen Z consumers shaping the fitness industry
May 23, 2023

A newly released report based on research conducted by ClubIntel has revealed that the Gen Z fitness consumer is a driving force in shaping the future of the fitness industry.

Delving into the health club and gym behaviour of Gen Z, The Gen Z Fitness Consumer report explores this demographic’s preferences, motivations and challenges when it comes to staying fit and healthy.

Sponsored by ABC Fitness, the report suggests that by analysing the data and trends related to this generation's fitness habits, operators and stakeholders can gain valuable insights into how health clubs and gyms can better serve and engage this important demographic.

Introducing the report, ClubIntel founder, Mark Williamson explains “in an era where the fitness landscape is rapidly evolving, understanding the preferences and behaviours of the youngest generation of fitness enthusiasts is essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

“Over the past several months, ClubIntel has meticulously collected and analysed data from a wide range of sources to provide you with deep insights into the Gen Z fitness consumer (offering) a holistic view of their workout behaviours, expectations for value creation in the health clubs, their response to economic headwinds and strategies to best reach them through marketing.”

Revealing that, collectively, the Gen Z consumer has a global disposable income of US$360 billion, the report note the demographic is comprised of ‘digital Natives’ who have never known a world without the Internet or mobile devices, “growing up in a world that is increasingly connected through technology and social media (which) has shaped their values and beliefs”.

Gen Z values and characteristics
It notes common values and characteristics of Gen Z as including:

1. Diversity and inclusivity: Gen Z is known for valuing diversity and inclusivity. They are more likely to embrace different cultures, lifestyles, and identities than previous generations.

2. Social justice and activism: Many members of Gen Z are passionate about social justice issues such as racial equality, gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change. They are often vocal and active in their support of these causes.

3. Individuality and self-expression: Gen Z values individuality and self-expression, and they often use social media and other platforms to showcase their unique personalities and interests.

4. Entrepreneurship and innovation: Gen Z is known for being entrepreneurial and innovative, with many members starting their own businesses or pursuing non-traditional career paths.

5. Work-life balance: Unlike previous generations, Gen Z values work-life balance and often prioritize flexibility and autonomy in their work arrangements.

In looking to appeal to the Gen Z fitness consumer it suggests that “health club operators can address Gen Z values and preferences through programs and services”, explain “to appeal to the Gen Z fitness consumer, health club operators can focus on providing programs and services that align with their values and preferences”.

Strategies to Reach Gen Z
Offering strategies that health club operators can use to appeal to Gen Z it advises:

1. Offer flexible membership options: Gen Z values flexibility and wants to have options to choose from. Health club operators can offer flexible membership options that fit different lifestyles, such as pay-as-you-go, short-term, or long-term memberships.

2. Provide a variety of classes: Gen Z enjoys trying new things and wants to have options to choose from. Health club operators can offer various classes catering to different interests, including yoga, dance, kickboxing, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

3. Incorporate technology: Gen Z is a highly digital generation that values technology and convenience. Health club operators can incorporate technology into their programs and services, such as offering fitness tracking apps, virtual classes, and online coaching.

4. Focus on social connection: Gen Z values social connection and wants to be part of a community. Health club operators can focus on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that fosters social connections through group classes, social events, and online forums.

5. Prioritise sustainability: Gen Z is a socially conscious generation that values sustainability and environmental responsibility. Health club operators can prioritise sustainability by using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and promoting environmentally conscious practices.

Overall, to appeal to Gen Z, health club operators need to focus on providing flexible, diverse, and technology-driven programs and services that foster social connection and prioritize sustainability.

In marketing to Gen Z, The Gen Z Fitness Consumer report goes on to suggest that “they care about society and are willing to support brands whose values align with their own”, pointing out that “a social media presence is a must.”

It also advises that “Gen Zers embrace mobile payments and digital wallets to make purchases with apps like Cash App, Venmo and Apple Pay leading the way.”

Highlights of the Report:

1. Gen Z's fitness habits: Discover the fitness activities, workout preferences, and trends that resonate most with the Gen Z demographic.

2. Digital and social media influence: Gain insights into how Gen Z uses digital platforms and social media to engage with fitness content, seek inspiration, and make purchasing decisions.

3. Wellness and mental health focus: Understand the growing importance of holistic well-being for Gen Z and how it shapes their approach to fitness.

4. Brand loyalty and influencer culture: Explore the factors that drive brand loyalty among Gen Z and the role of influencers in their decision-making process.

5. Opportunities for businesses: Uncover the untapped potential and emerging market segments that can help your business effectively engage and cater to the Gen Z fitness consumer.

Williamson adds “our report not only presents the findings but also provides practical recommendations and actionable strategies to help you align your marketing, product development, and customer engagement efforts with the specific needs and desires of Gen Z.”

Generation Z
Generation Z, also known as ‘Zoomers’, is the most recent generation to enter adulthood.

Born between 1997 and 2012, this group is known for their love of technology and their desire for social and environmental justice. As they come of age, their attitudes and behaviours toward health and fitness are also beginning to take shape.

Click here for a free copy of The Gen Z Fitness Consumer report.

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5th February 2020 - Victorian Government and Melbourne media warn consumers about being ‘ripped off’ by gyms

10th August 2019 - MINDBODY co-founder shares experience of industry technology interfacing with the consumer

29th September 2017 - Active Management supports ClubIntel’s third Annual International Fitness Industry Trend Study

29th November 2016 - Lookfit online comparison site aims to empower fitness consumers

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