InsightPress Release

Self-definition and Pan-Asian creativity among the pillars of Gen Z behavior according to WGSN

SINGAPORE – WGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, has revealed five pillars and priorities specific to Gen Z consumer behaviors in Asia Pacific, amid a creative renaissance and an upheaval of traditional norms in 2023 and beyond. As the region’s Gen Z comes of age, they are shifting to deeper and more meaningful routes of self-definition and self-care, and embracing Pan-Asian creativity.

“The underlying driver for Gen Z behavior in APAC is self-empowerment. From new career aspirations to wellness as a status symbol, Gen Z consumers across the region are fundamentally changing the way they live, work, and consume, with new implications for brands. From a creative standpoint, a slew of emerging local and regional creative collectives are recontextualizing cultural relics to take neo-Asian kitsch mainstream,” said Alison Ho, Analyst at WGSN Insight.

Gen Z will make up a quarter of APAC’s population by 2025, and brands that can tailor their strategies for this demographic’s consumption behaviors will be able to tap into a key market estimated to wield a global spending power of about $140 billion by 2030.


The five priorities and pillars driving Gen Z behaviors are:

  • Self-definition: In an age of hyper-charged, transcultural poly-selves, Gen Zs in APAC are more empowered than ever, increasingly finding new ways to experiment and define who they are on- and offline. More than six in 10 (63%) Asian youths say they express their identity through thoughts and opinions.
  • Intentional wellness: Gen Z is taking charge of their holistic well-being, from new wellness rituals to embracing their inner kidults. Nearly half (48%) of Gen Zs in APAC feel stressed, driven by pressures from work/studies (46%) and financial concerns (44%).
  • Pan-Asian creativity: In APAC, a newfound appreciation for tradition is driving a creative renaissance characterized by nostalgia and kitsch.
  • Work 3.0: Gen Z consumers are pushing back against typical nine-to-five workday norms by prioritizing themselves, as well as finding new aspirations and fluid ways of working. Nearly six in 10 (57%) APAC youths define success as a healthy work-life balance.
  • Consumption and money: One in three youths in APAC consider finances to be part of their overall health and wellness. They’re investing time and effort in their own financial literacy as they learn how to balance indulgent splurges with long-term financial security. Almost seven in 10 (68%) APAC youths report being comfortable with managing their own finances.

Alison added, “As forecasted in our annual flagship Asia Shopper Forecast 2023 report, younger consumers, who grew up amid the aftershocks of the global financial crisis as well as economic optimism and rising income levels, are taking control of their finances and actively learning how to create micro-moments of indulgence on a limited budget.”

Developed using its proprietary methodology to identify the signals of change and evaluate, verify, and forecast trends, WGSN works with over 250 industry experts globally to map influencers, disruptors, and changemakers to deliver clear and specific action points. WGSN’s consumer sentiments are selected using WGSN’s unique STEPIC framework: examining changes in society, technology, the environment, politics, industry, and creativity to identify the macro forces that will drive the emotional sentiments in the years to come.

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