Gen Zers Are Most Likely to Recommend These CPG Brands

April 8, 2022

There are 5 CPG brands that are among the 10 most likely to be recommended by members of Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z, according to a recent report from YouGov [download page], while 9 of the top 10 brands for Gen Y and Gen Z overlap.

Checking out Gen Z’s Preferences

The study ranks CPG brands based on the propensity for customers to recommend them. Looking specifically at the narrow subset of Gen Z consumers who were 18 and older last year but born in 2000 or after, the data shows that Oreo is the narrow leader, with 50.8% of its Gen Z customers willing to recommend it to a friend or colleague. Oreo is followed closely by M&M’s (50.4%) and Dove (Skincare; 50%) as the only three for which at least half of this young set of customers would issue a recommendation.

Rounding out the top 5 are Pringles (45.3%) and Hershey (44.8%), while others getting the vote for at least 4 in 10 are Gatorade (43.7%), Ben & Jerry’s (43.2%), Doritos (43%) and Cheetos (40.3%), suggesting that Gen Zers are very much into their snacks.

The report also singles out “distinctly Gen Z brands in 2021,” being those brands in which the difference in recommendation score is highest between Gen Z brands and the rest of US adults. Atop this list is Lush (+8.2% points), followed by Reese’s (+8.1% points) and Ultra Beauty (+8.1% points).

How About Gen Y?

Gen Y consumers (born 1982-1999) seem a little less likely to recommend brands than their younger counterparts, but otherwise broadly have the same set of recommendations to make. Topping their list is Dove (Skincare), which 43.4% of Gen Y customers would recommend, followed very closely by Gen Z leader Oreo (43.2%) and Doritos (42.8%). M&M’s (40.4%) and Reese’s (40.1%) round out the top 5, the only which at least 4 in 10 would recommend.

The lone brand appearing on Gen Y’s list that’s not on the top 10 for Gen Z is Cheerios (#10, 36.2%). For Gen Z, it was Pringles (#4, 45.3%) that was not on Gen Y’s list.

Sticking with Gen Y, the top brands that they appear more likely to recommend than others are Fruit Gushers (+11% points), Red Bull (+9.8% points), are White Claw (+8.8% points).

Gen Xers’ List Differs

While 9 of 10 brands overlap between Gen Y and Gen Z, there’s a bit more variety among the most recommended CPG brands for Gen X (born 1965-1981), with 4 of those brands showing up only on their top 10.

Overall, Dawn sets the pace for Gen Xers, with 52.3% of its Gen X customers being willing to recommend the brand to a friend or colleague. Dawn is followed by Hershey (50%), M&M’s (49.1%), Doritos (50%) and Lysol (48.9%).

The 4 brands appearing on Gen Xers’ list but not on the lists of their younger counterparts are Dawn, Lysol, Clorox (#7, 47.7%), Kraft (#10, 44.3%), suggesting that Gen X are happy with their hygiene brands.

The brands that Gen Xers are more likely to recommend than other generations include Country Time (+7.6% points), Totino’s Pizza Rolls (+7.3% points), Motrin (+7% points), Children’s Motrin (+6.7% points) and DAVID Seeds (+6.7% points).

Other Findings

  • CeraVe was the most improved brand in recommendation score between 2020 (14.7%) and 2021 (18.4%) for both Gen X and Gen Y (14.9% and 20.1%, respectively).
  • Interestingly enough, the second-most improved brand was also shared by both Gen X and Gen Y: Bumble Bee.
  • The 5 brands that appeared on the top 10 lists for Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z were: Doritos, Dove (Skincare), Hershey, M&M’s, and Reese’s.

About the Data: As noted by YouGov: “The rankings are based on YouGov BrandIndex’s positive Recommend score which measures the percentage of a brand’s customers who would recommend it to a friend or colleague. The brands ranked at the top are recommended by the highest percentage of its customers. The rankings in this report cover a nationally representative US population over the course of 2021 unless otherwise noted.”

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