Introducing Generation Alpha: The Generation of Infinite Possibilities

Published on : 11/9/22
  • The iPad was a game changer, the COVID-19 pandemic was a game changer, and TikTok continues to be a game changer. Today’s technological and scientific breakthroughs occur at a pace that earlier generations could only imagine, but this is our youngest generation’s norm. This fast-paced world, where the game changes often before all the pieces can be played, is the world of Generation Alpha. We partnered with Cassandra, the foremost authority on Gen Z and Gen Alpha research and emerging trends, to get to know this young generation and what makes them unique. These insights help us prepare to welcome a new cohort of students when their time comes to arrive on campus.


    Who is Gen Alpha? 

    Gen Alpha is a cohort of about 48 million children born after 2010 (in the U.S. alone, and still counting). They are, for the most part, the children of Millennials and are on their way to being the most diverse generation ever (50%).

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    Unlike Generation Z, the current 13-25 years old we spend time with on campus, Gen Alpha strive for a sense of balance, rather than achievement. They are emerging as incredibly fluid, curious, and creative. Their parents instill a “process over outcome” orientation to achievements both in and out of school, encouraging this sense of learning, creativity, and resilience in the face of challenges.  

    Gen Alpha also has a new and emerging sense of identity. They understand that everyone can create their own sense of self and have an advanced level of identity awareness and labeling compared to older generations. Gen Alpha considers themselves “gamers” even more so than Gen Z (six out of 10 Alphas use this term to describe themselves). About a third of Gen Alphas describe themselves as artists and three out of 10 consider themselves foodies. They see themselves as funny, kind, and creative, and believe that is also true of the coolest people they know.


    Their Impact on the Household

    At home, what kids say goes. 80% of Gen Alpha help choose a restaurant or takeout and 74% have sway over family grocery shopping.As the children of Millennials, most Gen Alphas (87%) report very close relationships to their parents, and nine out of 10 agree that they are “friends with their parents”. These close family ties give Gen Alpha influence over family decisions like purchases. A whopping 94% of Gen Alpha parents say that they want their child to have a say in family purchase decisions, and six out of 10 parents report that their Gen Alpha child has a great deal of influence in household purchases.

    So where do kids have the biggest impact in purchases? Not surprisingly, toys, books, and games are the top categories where kids have influence, but food isn’t too far behind. Eighty percent of Gen Alpha parents say their child’s opinion counts when choosing a restaurant or takeout, and 74% say they have sway when it comes to grocery shopping. So even though only 23% of today’s Gen Alphas have disposable income from a weekly allowance (compared to 70% of Gen Zs in 2010 who received one), they are already playing an important role in buying for the household.

    Graphic: At home, what kids say goes. 80% of Gen Alpha help choose a restaurant or takeout and 74% have sway over family grocery shopping.


    Infinite Challenges Yield Infinite Possibilities

    Gen Alpha has always felt on the edge of social, political, and environmental upheaval. When the outcome of our entire world order is anyone's guess, Gen Alpha's well-being depends on their ability to ride the waves of chaos.

    Despite challenging circumstances and continuous threats, Gen Alpha is more than just the generation of infinite challenges – they are also the generation of infinite possibilities. They've been handed a lot - from the climate crisis to the impact of social media. They've also been handed what they themselves see as the answer to a lot of these challenges - unmatched technological access and ability from a very young age. Never before-seen levels of tech-savviness combined with innate curiosity and remarkable creativity makes Gen Alpha a generation of empowered youth unlike any we’ve ever seen. 

    Graphic: 82% of Gen Alphas agree: "I can figure out most things if I have access to technology."


    This blog was created in collaboration with Sodexo's research partner Cassandra.