3 min readMay 8, 2024

Michael Moschella, DKC Analytics Executive Director

May 2024

BIG SHIFT ALERT! The first front of “Gen Alpha” has arrived as they hit their teen years. Just as we started to decipher Gen Z’s secret emoji code, a new spending power is entering the scene.

Their rise is expected to be swift and impactful. We at DKC decided to delve in and place this consumer force on the radar screen of brands ahead of the summer spending season. New research shows a full scale armada of small-in-stature-but-mighty-in-opinion consumers is about to invade your marketing plans.

We looked into the spending power of 8–13 year olds, by asking their parents — mostly Millennials — about their behaviors and their influence on household purchasing decisions. Much has been written about the world’s 80 million Millennials — the largest American generation who will eventually be the richest in history, and still saving the world. But wait there’s more. Millennials are parents now, and nobody has their ear more than their own kids. Here’s what we unveiled with a representative sample of 1,000 American parents of the first of Gen Alpha children (margin of error 3%).

They’re already earning and spending their own money, and the amount may surprise you.

It’s not just Grandma putting $20 in a card. Millennial parents have embraced at least one form of capitalism, with 73% offering cash incentives to their Gen Alpha child to reinforce good behavior and good grades. Another 69% are offering payment for chores. What does it all add up to in the end? The typical Gen Alpha child is spending $45 of their own money each week — a whopping $2,340 per year! Of course, spending power depends in part on demographics, but even at the low end we’re seeing Gen Alphas with over $1000 of pocket change per year.

Download the full report to learn what demographics are spending the most.

Their opinions are having a major impact on parental buying decisions.

Marketers take note: Gen Alpha’s parents estimate half of all household spending decisions are impacted by their child’s opinions. 92% of their parents are learning about new brands from their Gen Alpha child, and 82% have changed their personal consumer choices as a result.

Certain industries are the tip of the spear. Over 90% of parents report clear consumer preferences being expressed by Gen Alpha children in the food, entertainment (especially music and video games), and fashion (especially sneakers) sectors. And majorities say this feedback is frequent.

We’ve uncovered 15 distinct consumer patterns impacted by Gen Alpha — download the full report

An identity is emerging. Gen Alpha will be social-first, innovative, savvy shoppers, impacted by both brands and brand values.

76% of Gen Alpha parents say their children are better at making consumer decisions than they were at the same age. 87% say their Gen Alpha children are very attentive to brands, and 69% say they already understand the concept of corporate values. The behavioral patterns of product selection will be shifted by Gen A too… as the survey also shows AI, virtual try-on, “drops,” and other next generation shopping dynamics being boosted by the youngest Americans.

Want to know which brands are already emerging as the winners with Gen Alpha? (Hint: Nike) Download the full report here.

Caution to Boomers to remain seated: Gen Alpha’s growth means big business for online influencers.

94% of parents are paying more attention to online influencers to better understand their impact on Gen Alpha kids. 64% are more likely to use social media for product reviews thanks to their Gen Alpha child, and a majority are more likely to make purchases driven by social media ads or influencers.

To us, the message is clear for brands: get used to it or move aside. Better yet, master this dynamic and seize the advantage.

Want to think deeper about how Gen Alpha will impact your strategy? We have a whole team here for you — click to set up a meeting.


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