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Consumer behavior of the youth

Part 1 : Trends in consumer issues and consumers' attitude/behavior
Chapter 3 : [Feature] Consumption by the youth
Section 1 : Consumer behavior of the youth

The propensity for consumption in young people declined.

  • The average propensity for consumption has been declining in a long-term trend in all age groups on average, but it has been declining much more in the 20s and early 30s, indicating that young people are careful about consumption.
  • Today's young people grew up in a time where the economy continued to grow slowly and the irregular employment ratio rose, and they seem to be concerned about their future.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-3 Changes in average propensity to consume for each age group

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-1 Changes in the Real GDP growth rate, consumer price index, (CPI over prev. yr) irregular employment ratio.

In the consumption by the youth, there are trends such as "less purchase of alcohol beverages" and "less purchase of automobiles"

  • "Expenses related to automobiles" has considerably decreased for men, but has increased for women.
  • As for the consumption by the youth of one-person households, there is a decreasing trend in the "alcoholic beverages" and "clothing" by both men and women when examined per item.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-7 Average monthly expenditure of commodity (Expenses related to automobiles)

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-8 Average monthly expenditure of commodity (alcoholic beverages)

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-9 Average monthly expenditure of commodity (clothing)

Expenditure on eating out has decreased for men of one-person households.

  • Although many consumers think they spend money on "eating" (refer to page 21), expenditure on food are on decline.
  • For the fluctuations in each category under expenditure on food, expenditure on eating out has considerably dropped for men under 30 years of one-person households, while for women under 30 years, the expenditure on "cooking ingredients" has significantly decreased.
  • For two-or-more person households, expenditure on "cooking ingredients" has declined overall, while the expenditure on "prepared foods" has increased.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-10 Changes in food expenses (prepared foods, eating out, cooking ingredients)

Many of the youth like shopping, but their consumption is frugal.

  • For people ranging from the late 10s to 30s, about 70% of respondents answered "I like shopping" ("I like shopping very much" + "I like shopping somewhat"), and this percentage is higher than the elderly people.
  • On the other hand, consumption by the youth tend to be frugal. Things the youth are currently spending money on or wish to spend money on in their future is "savings." (refer to pages 21 and 22).
  • To the question, "Do you carefully examine the functions, quality, prices, etc. before purchasing?" a high proportion of the youth chose "Yes, I certainly do.", indicating their strong awareness towards such points.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-11 Ratio of those who answered "I like shopping"

80% of the youth think smartphones are necessary.
70% of them use smartphones 3 hours or more a day.

  • The attitude of the youth changed as informatization progressed.
  • Many of the youth own smartphones, and use them for obtaining information, communicating, transmitting information, etc. According to the "Basic Survey on Consumer Life," 80% of the youth think smartphones or cell-phones as necessities for living.
  • 73% of the youth use smartphones for 3 hours or more a day.
  • For this reason, less time is spent on watching television, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, etc. since 1996.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-20 Time spent on smartphones per day for the people of the age between 15 and 25

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-21 Average time spent on tv, radio, newspaper, magazine by age bracket per day

The youth use smartphones for various purposes, and they also purchase products influenced by SNS.

  • The main purposes of using smartphones are, for a wide range of age groups, searching information on websites, making phonecalls and sending e-mails. The youth frequently uses SNS or read the news on the Internet.
  • The youth mostly use smartphones, and use SNS "everyday." The ratio of users is 72.7% for people in the late 10s, and 69.4% for people in their early 20s. The number of female users is slightly larger.
  • Many people in the late 10s and 20s are influenced by the information on SNS posted by their friends or celebrities, and thus purchase products or make use of certain services.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-25 Frequency of use of SNS by gender/age group

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-26 Experience of purchasing products or using any service after being motivated by some information on SNS

There is an behavior to do activities and consume for doing things to post information on SNS among the youth.

  • The youth, especially those in their late 20s, take photos for the purpose of , uploading photos or videos on SNS when they go out eating, etc.
  • The ratio of "eating out," "shopping" or "meeting up with friends" are relatively higher among the youth compared to other age groups; and they "consume for doing things." Percentage of "travel," is also as high as that for those in their 60s & over.

Figure Ⅰ-3-1-28 Activities done with a purpose of taking photos or videos