X Y Z: cultural and consumer trends of three generations of Ukrainians changed by the war

April 2024
Special survey for the 17th Ukrainian Marketing Forum

X Y Z: How are cultural and consumer trends of three generations of Ukrainians changing under the influence of the war?

The Great War brought great changes to the lives of all Ukrainians without exception. And people, regardless of age, gender, or region of residence, have reconsidered their priorities in consumption, leisure, and future planning. Gradus Research conducted a survey of the moods of three generations of Ukrainian consumers in the third year of full-scale war and compared them with each other specially for the 17th Ukrainian Marketing Forum.

*This survey is part of a broader research on consumer and cultural trends of Ukrainians in the third year of the full-scale invasion. The results are available here and you can purchase the full report by contacting ai@gradus.app.

Attitudes towards brands: Millennials are the main brand loyalists, while Zoomers are spontaneous and open to new brands

It is Millennials (25-44 years old) who are more convinced that brands matter - two-thirds of respondents in this age group declare this position, which means that it has an impact on their consumer preferences.
Meanwhile, Zoomers generation is distinguished by its openness to experiments: almost half (46%) of respondents aged 18-24 have changed their buying behavior since the beginning of the full-scale invasion and are choosing new brands over well-known ones.
At the same time, Zoomers are the most spontaneous and the least patriotic in choosing goods or services. While the vast majority of Millennials (25-44 years old) and Gen X (45+ years old) tend to plan their purchases carefully, 38% of Generation Z respondents make a purchase decision at the time of purchase.

Online is confidently winning consumers

Among all the generations surveyed, Zoomers are the most likely to shop online, but the trend toward an increase in the share of online purchases in times of war is observed in all age groups.

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Zoomers choose entertainment, beauty and leisure. Everyone is saving on clothes.

Among the categories on which Ukrainian consumers save, Gen X and Millennials most often choose entertainment and recreation, eating out, clothing and footwear. Entertainment, clothing, and footwear are also on the list of spending cuts for Zoomers, but representatives of the youngest generation surveyed tend to save on them to a much lesser extent.

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This consumer behavior is explained, among other things, by the fact that Zoomers are not ready to save for later, but want to live here and now. As many as 73% of Generation Z respondents declare this position.
While the vast majority of Gen X (77%) and Millennials (72%) are convinced that now is not the time for irrational purchases, and it is better to focus on saving money.

High levels of fatigue and stress remain an important factor influencing the consumer behavior of Ukrainians. In this state, consumers make most decisions. Young people are the most stressed, with a subjective stress level of 92%. A relatively lower, but still high, level of stress is also reported by representatives of Generation Y (89%). Hence the higher need for personal joys and pleasures to maintain mental balance reported by these two generations.

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Ukrainian content is becoming a new pole of attraction, and new Ukrainian heroes are military and volunteers

Zoomers and Millennials spend most of their free time listening to music and watching movies or TV shows online. Gen X also prefers movies and TV shows, but also reading the news.

About a third of Millennials and Zoomers listen to Ukrainian music, and another half of both listen to both Ukrainian and foreign artists.

Another genre that is gaining popularity among Ukrainians is stand-up. Here, too, Ukrainian content has an absolute lead: respondents mostly name Ukrainian artists as their favorite comedians.

The military and volunteers have become new Ukrainian heroes during the great war.

"We can see how different generations of Ukrainians live the experience of war in different ways. Older age groups are more rationalized in their consumption, they are more likely to think about cutting costs or inappropriate entertainment. While young people, due to their lack of experience in crises, find it harder to cope with high stress. However, all generations show attention to brands, are ready to give a chance to new things and support Ukrainian products, which is an important signal for local companies and creators," says Evgeniya Blyznyuk, sociologist, CEO & Founder of Gradus Research.

*This survey is part of a broader research on consumer and cultural trends of Ukrainians in the third year of the full-scale invasion. The results are available here and you can purchase the full report by contacting ai@gradus.app.

The survey was conducted by Gradus Research using a self-completed questionnaire in the Gradus mobile application. The sample reflects the population structure of cities with more than 50 thousand residents aged 18-60 by gender, age, settlement size, and region, excluding the temporarily occupied territories and territories of active hostilities. Period of the survey: March 11-13, 2024. Sample size: 1045 respondents.

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