• Inner Wellbeing
  • Article
  • Nutrition and Health


Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok


  • Inner Wellbeing
  • Article
  • Nutrition and Health

Gen Zs are increasingly concerned about their gut health because it has manifested as part of the generation’s obsession with “self-transformation”. 

According to a senior lecturer at City, University of London¹ , this generation may be more sensitive to mentions of dieting or weight loss, so framing gut concerns under gut health on different media channels can help Gen Zs approach this topic better.

The increased palatability also brings more attention to the topic of gut health. For more open-minded Gen Zs, this overarching gut health conversation also taps into bowel discomforts and indigestion issues – which are more explicit, taboo topics that previous generations of consumers shied away from in public discourse. 

As a generation, Gen Zs are also more aware of different aspects of health and wellbeing such as mental health.

And with the rise in studies that explain the close interconnections of the gut-brain axis and the impact that gut health and mental health has on each other, Gen Zs may be more inclined to pay attention to gut health as a result.

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Insights Report: Health, Nutrition, and Rising Costs 

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Concept Card: Probiotic and Protein Powder

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Winning over Gut-Conscious Gen Zs with #GutTok | Nutiani

Concept Card: Probiotic Supplement Capsules

With over six billion views for gut health content under key hashtags #GutHealth and #GutTok on the Gen Z-dominated app TikTok, it is becoming increasingly clear that the generation born between 1997 and 2012² is the up-and-coming consumer group for nutrition brands focusing on digestive health solutions. 


This heightened interest in gut health among the Gen Z demographic is also reflected in Nutiani’s own study where a staggering 72% of Gen Zs surveyed identified digestive and/or gut health among their top three health concerns, alongside sleep quality (77%) and immune health (74%).


Some reports³ have hypothesised that the rise in gut issues among Gen Zs can be attributed to stress, especially as Gen Zs are reportedly experiencing the highest levels of stress against other age groups⁴. 

Another plausible reason could be that greater awareness of gut health issues - owing to the resources and wealth of information through popular channels like TikTok – are educating consumers on the recognition of signs and symptoms that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

As a result, when it comes to solutions and products, Gen Zs behave differently from other generations of consumers. In this article, Nutiani expert Rebecca Cuthbertson sheds light on how brands can best reach out to this younger and emerging wave of consumers, both now and in the future.


Science-backed Function Matters 

Compared to other consumers in different age groups, Gen Zs are the most likely to be influenced by having science-backed evidence support health benefit claims. For this consumer group, such evidence can come in the form of clinical trials that prove the efficacy of an ingredient, as well as certification or endorsement from well-established institutions or healthcare professionals. Nutiani’s study has also found that beyond science-backed evidence, Gen Zs also consider health benefits claims, ingredients list, nutritional information, and price as top attributes that may influence their purchase decisions. 

Interestingly, the same set of data tells us that, rather than focus on ingredient aspects such as functionality and provenance*, Gen Zs tend to take a more practical approach and seek targeted solutions that address specific health concerns such as gut health. So long as scientifically proven ingredients come together in an affordable product, Gen Zs are likely to be attracted to the product.

According to Rebecca, this finding indicates that brands need to be assured of the ingredients they use, making sure that they are working with reliable ingredient partners that offer a strong portfolio of science-backed ingredients. “This generation is not focused on branded ingredients, and places more value on clear evidence and fair price. For them, it is the quality and effectiveness of the solution that truly matters.”

Focus on the Format 

Unlike previous generations of consumers, Gen Zs now have access to newer platforms and resources to obtain advanced nutritional knowledge. This is due both to growing up with easy access to technological tools and gaining a more robust basic knowledge on nutrition from watching their Gen X or Millennial parents consume functional foods and drinks⁵.

According to Nutiani’s latest consumer index, many consumers – including Gen Zs – are already highly aware of the health benefits of probiotics. As a result, they may be more receptive to enriched yet familiar formats such as Nutiani’s protein and probiotic powders as solutions to solve their gut issues. At the same time, they are also likely to be more receptive to new or familiar formats – such as chocolates – that have been infused with probiotics

Active Asian man drinking from packet drink
On this, Rebecca comments: "For brands to attract Gen Zs with a greater awareness and recognition of traditional and new formats, they can work on developing gut health-boosting products with an experimental edge – for example, infusing probiotics in new formats like chocolates. With adventurous palates, this generation is open to trying innovative products that cater to their specific needs."


Eyes on the Price

While Nutiani’s data has shown that all consumers are price-sensitive in current times, Gen Zs stand out as a unique consumer profile. As many have grown up during the 2008 financial crisis and are now entering the workforce during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, they have nurtured more disciplined financial habits. Yet, they also subscribe to what some are calling the “little treat culture”⁶, where they splurge on what they see the most value in, to help them get through the day. 

Simultaneously, due to their price sensitivity and the range of available options, they are also a consumer group with wavering customer loyalty. More than 62% of Gen Z UK and US consumers surveyed by McKinsey⁷ said they would explore other options in the hunt for value even if they had a favourite brand. Among those with a favourite brand, more than half have no qualms about changing their selection if there is a cheaper alternative or an alternative of higher quality at the same price.

This information is crucial as the investments by brands into developing new formats and science research could translate into a price premium. “The good news is that if the science research is strong and robust, and the end-product is fresh and new with little to no alternatives in the market, Gen Zs are happy to splurge,” says Rebecca. 


Gen Zs will perceive value from products as they benefit from better gut health and great taste. However, brands need to determine the main trigger for Gen Zs in making their purchasing decision – whether it’s taste, format, or a new way of proving efficacy - and to do this, brands will need access to quality consumer insights research.

Rebecca Cuthbertson

Head of Marketing


Get Social

TikTok and other social media platforms are viable channels to reach the Gen Z consumer base. Digital technology is second nature to Gen Zs, most of whom have grown up with a smart device in their hands. This is a generation that is used to communicating with their loved ones online daily and takes great inspiration from social media influencers who shape their perceptions and expectations for day-to-day products and purchases.

To effectively reach this demographic, brands must learn to speak the same language – and this involves engaging the audience via creativity-driven social media assets and influencers to communicate product benefits. For example, brands can leverage the ongoing conversation around gut health amongst Gen Zs on social media platforms with the #HotGirlsHaveStomachIssues hashtag. This hashtag alone has generated over 2.9 million views on TikTok.

“Standout brands will be the ones who know how to tap on the power of influencers on these platforms. Close to half of the Gen Z population want to engage with brands and collaborate to shape future product innovation, so the opportunities are limited only to how open brands are to working with consumer group,” says Rebecca. 


phone screen of tiktok hashtag guttok

“Being active on these platforms help brands reach and strengthen their relationship with this consumer segment, and a platform like TikTok, which focuses on user-generated content, can facilitate this collaboration and feedback loop, allowing brands to connect directly with their audience and market.”

According to Euromonitor’s Future of Consumption report⁸, Gen Zs are projected to reach a very promising twofold income surge by 2040, making this segment a powerful up-and-coming demographic that every brand should seek to engage. With their proactive and ingrained approach to nutrition, Gen Zs are a dream consumer segment for any nutrition brand that is geared to understand and meet their unique needs.

Dive into more insights in Nutiani's first insight report of 2024: Nutrition, Health and Rising Costs.


1. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/20/well/eat/tiktok-gut-health.html

2. https://www.beresfordresearch.com/age-range-by-generation/

3. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/hot-girls-stomach-issues-social-120000702.html

4. https://globescan.com/2024/02/01/insight-of-the-week-gen-z-is-experiencing-more-stress-than-any-other-generation/

5. Mintel, Targeting Gen Z with Functional Food and Drink, Published 13 March 2024

*Only 8% of Gen Z consumers pay attention to whether an ingredient is organic.

6. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2023/09/13/gen-z-spending-habits/70698207007/

7. https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/email/genz/2023/04/2023-04-04b.html 

8. Euromonitor, Future of Consumption: Unlocking Gen Z Behaviour for Crafting Powerful Strategies. Accessed through https://www.portal.euromonitor.com/?oClxhKOuMy9wJLVs2SwofiVERfzQNpvflkP8ekJcLOT8xHqw1B2emQ%3d%3d


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