Culture and trends

4th of July: a big spending period for Gen Z

alt= Three people hold sparklers in front of an American flag. Their faces are partially out of frame, and they are dressed in casual clothing.
Published on
July 3, 2024
Last updated
July 3, 2024

What this article covers

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The 4th of July is almost with us. What can you expect from this holiday – and how exactly do Gen Z celebrate?

The cultural significance...

The 4th of July is a cornerstone of American culture. It marks the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and is celebrated in the US every single year, often accompanied by fireworks displays, parades, barbecues, and of course, Taylor Swift’s annual party (although this year it may collide with her tour dates – sigh).

This holiday has evolved into a significant social event, particularly for Gen Z.

While honoring the patriotic aspects (red white and blue flag, anyone?), young consumers also embrace this day as an opportunity to engage in social activities and, notably, splash the cash.

Celebrating Independence Day has become a blend of traditional patriotism and modern social dynamics for Gen Z.

Gen Z’s Spending Habits

A massive 85% of Americans actively celebrate Independence Day each year. 

Searches for Independence Day and the 4th of July start around the end of June – but interest is at its highest between the 1st of July and the 8th of July.

Why the 4th of July is a big spending period for Gen Z...

For Gen Z, the 4th of July is not just about celebrating American independence; it's a day to celebrate in general.

It’s a national holiday in the US, meaning everyone will have a much-needed day off work. Young consumers, particularly in a post-pandemic world, enjoy getting out with friends and family to celebrate the day experientially.

The 4th of July provides ample opportunities for spending on travel, events, and outdoor activities.

Whether it's attending a firework show, participating in a parade, or organizing a barbecue with friends and family, these experiences often come with associated costs.

This holiday will see a noticeable increase in spending on food delivery, event tickets, and outdoor gear during the holiday and in the build-up.

Attractive brand promotions and discounts

Did you know that a massive 78% of students look for discounts every single time they shop? Attractive brand promotions and discounts during this time drive sales and encourage increased spending across various verticals.

4th of July sales and flash sales on holiday-themed merchandise and outdoor essentials become attractive to Gen Z consumers. As we know, young consumers are living through tough economic times – by giving them offers around this day, you’ll encourage increased spending and win their loyalty for life.

The Power of Social Media

Nothing screams Gen Z like social media platforms. Here are some stats you should know from our 2024 Youth Trends Report:

  • The most used social media platform by US Gen Zers in 2024 is YouTube (86%), followed by Instagram (80%), then TikTok (67%).
  • 60% of Gen Z use Snapchat.
  • 55% use Facebook.
  • 48% use X (Twitter).

This 4th of July, expect Gen Z to be highly active on social media platforms.

Whether it's a TikTok of their parties, a perfectly-curated Insta story, or watching their favorite creator’s 4th of July vlog, they’ll be enjoying the festivities through some kind of screen.

Effective 4th of July marketing ideas

Tap into a cultural moment

You might think Coca-Cola is best known for its Christmas marketing efforts – but don’t forget about their 4th of July promotions. One previous campaign focused on capturing cultural moments through user-generated content. Encouraging consumers to share how they were celebrating the holiday using a branded hashtag, Coca-Cola boosted engagement and created a sense of community.

This year, Coca-Cola are going experiential. In Texas, Six Flags' Firework Spectacular is being sponsored by the brand. The celebration includes live entertainment before a firework show in the evening.

Get Interactive

Chipotle has previously used interactive content to engage with Gen Z.

Their 4th of July promotion included a TikTok challenge where participants could win free meals by showcasing their holiday recipes. We know young consumers love a freebie, so this was a strong strategy from everyone’s favorite burrito brand.

Patriotism, but with a Twist

Diversity is high on the agenda for today’s consumers. 85% of Gen Z want to see more diverse representation in marketing – and no one knows this more than some of the leading sports brands. Brands like Nike and Adidas have launched 4th of July campaigns that feature limited-edition products in red, white, and blue. However, these campaigns go beyond traditional patriotism by highlighting stories of diverse American heroes.

This year, Adidas is discounting comfy sneakers and clothes, as well as spacious, travel-ready bags just in time for your next summer trip. A massive 83% of Gen Z are considering travelling in the US or abroad in the next 12 months, according to Pion's data.

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