Piper Jaffray Completes Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of More Than 6,000 U.S. Teens

  • Overall teen spending up 6% from fall and up 2% from a year ago.
  • Food, beauty and video games continue to dominate teen wallet.
  • Athletic cycle above historic average but streetwear cycle accelerates.
  • Teens opt for Snapchat and Instagram as Facebook engagement stabilizes.

Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens Survey, Spring 2018 (Graphic: Piper Jaffray).

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a leading investment bank and asset management firm, completed its 35th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences amongst 6,000 teens across 40 U.S. states. Generation Z, which contributes approximately $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually*, represents an influential consumer group where wallet size and allocation provide a proxy for category interest.

For an infographic, podcasts and more information regarding the most recent survey, visit piperjaffray.com/teens.

“Our spring survey has shown an uptick in teen spending, which we believe mirrors the economic expansion we are experiencing broadly. Within a teen’s wallet, food is the top priority but video games (for males) and beauty (for females) are gaining share,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst. “We are seeing strong signs of a brand cycle led by 1990s and streetwear styles with adidas, Vans, Supreme and Tommy Hilfiger as the most notable positive brand movers.”

Spring 2018 Key Findings

Spending & Shopping Behavior

  • Food reaccelerates as teens’ No. 1 spending category, returning to its 24% peak.
  • Male spending on video games reaches a new peak at 13%, closing in on fashion.
  • Beauty spending hit a new high for females at $368 per year led by skincare, up 18% year-over-year.
  • Department stores and legacy channels continue to shed share as online hits new highs.

Brand Preferences

  • Streetwear has seen the largest incremental gains led by Vans (No. 1 footwear brand) and Supreme (No. 7 apparel brand); 1990s revival underway with Champion and Tommy Hilfiger.
  • Nike mindshare declines; adidas is firmly No. 3 brand (14% share footwear, 6% apparel).
  • Ralph Lauren moves out of top-10 brand list for males, formerly a top-10 brand since 2002.
  • Intent to buy iPhone reaches a new high – 84% of Gen-Z will choose the iPhone next (compared to 82% last fall).
  • eBay mindshare declined to its lowest level recorded at 1.8%, compared to 3% in fall 2017.

The Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from approximately 6,000 teens with an average age of 16.4 years. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences are assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S. Since the project began in 2001, Piper Jaffray has surveyed more than 161,000 teens and collected over 42 million data points on teen spending.

* Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology

About Piper Jaffray
Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) is a leading investment bank and asset management firm. Securities brokerage and investment banking services are offered in the U.S. through Piper Jaffray & Co., member SIPC and FINRA; in Europe through Piper Jaffray Ltd., authorized and regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority; and in Hong Kong through Piper Jaffray Hong Kong Limited, authorized and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission. Asset management products and services are offered through five separate investment advisory affiliates―U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered Advisory Research, Inc., Piper Jaffray Investment Management LLC, PJC Capital Partners LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co., and Guernsey-based Parallel General Partners Limited, authorized and regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

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© 2018 Piper Jaffray Companies, 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 1000, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402-7036


Piper Jaffray Companies
Pamela Steensland, 612-303-8185

Release Summary

Teen spending up 6% from our fall survey as food, beauty and video games dominate


Piper Jaffray Companies
Pamela Steensland, 612-303-8185