Its members may be too young for marketers to (legally) address, but Gen Alpha is already the focus of intense interest. This group of young people ages 8 to 13 has prompted plenty of queries on Google — and some of the questions are rather weighty:

  • Will generation alpha change the world?
  • Will gen alpha be ok?
  • Will gen alpha save the world?

Defined as people born between 2010 and 2025, Gen Alpha is projected to be the most diverse, populous and connected generation yet. And they’re already having an impact on household purchasing decisions, according to recent research.

Periscope, a Quad company, pulled together the latest data on this generation to give brands early insights about how Gen Alphas use technology, learn and create, entertain themselves, and socialize online and offline. Here are four key highlights:

What’s in the sandbox — and icebox

When it comes to deciding what food and toys their parents buy in 2023, a large and increasing percentage of 8-to-11-year-olds say they help make those decisions:

  • 45% report having a say in food purchases.
  • 53% report the same about toys.
  • Both percentages have edged up since 2021.

Their influence may partly reflect the fact that a growing number of these children are “onlys.” According to 2020 U.S. Census data, single-child families are the fastest growing family unit in the U.S.

Drawn to big screens

Gen Alpha has lived in a digital world since birth. The years of the pandemic and online learning reinforced their connection to small screens vs. in-person interactions — but this appears to have made them more interested in IRL experiences, such as seeing movies on the big screen:

  • 25% of Gen Alpha say they enjoy watching movies in theaters.

Periscope reports this group is hyperaware of trends and sees in-person cinema experiences as both an escape from their small screens and a way to be trendsetters among their peers.

Perhaps as a reaction to any type of screen, this generation has also embraced podcasts as a means of learning and exploration:

  • In 2023, 23% of 12-to-15-year-olds say they’re interested in podcasts, with comedy, gaming and storytelling podcasts the most popular.

Alone with their devices

As a generation incubated by digital media, Gen Alphas interact with a variety of devices every week — much of that time unsupervised.

  • Gen Alphas use 4.2 devices per week on average, including game consoles, smart TVs, tablets and smart speakers.
  • 65% of 8-to-12-year-olds have access to a mobile phone at home.
  • 53% of Gen Alphas say they use those phones without supervision.
  • 36% say the same about game consoles.
  • 31% report using smart TVs unsupervised.
  • 27% use tablets unsupervised.

Inclined to create content

This generation’s expression of independence includes creating their own content. Roblox, the online gaming and game-creation platform, has seen rising popularity among Gen Alpha even though the watchdog group Common Sense Media advises it isn’t suitable for children under 13.

  • 49% of 8-to-11-year-olds say they’ve played on Roblox.
  • 32% of 12-to-15-year-olds say they have.

Interested in learning more about Gen Alpha? You can read the full report on the Periscope website, along with recommendations on how to act on the insights for retail, CPG and healthcare marketers.