Piper Jaffray Completes Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of 8,600 U.S. Teens

  • Overall teen spending down 5% from spring and up 1% from a year ago
  • Food and video games continue to dominate teen wallet
  • Accessories share of female wallets reached an all-time low (under 5%)
  • Instagram surpasses Snapchat as the No. 1 most used social media platform as Facebook engagement declines

Piper Jaffray 36th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey, Fall 2018 (Graphic: Piper Jaffray).

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC), a leading investment bank and asset management firm, completed its 36th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens® survey, which highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences amongst 8,600 teens across 48 U.S. states with an average age of 16. 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 fall survey showed overall teen spending as flat with the prior year. That said, teen spending continues to expand in categories like video games & food. Females now indicate they spend 3x more on beauty than accessories,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst. “Within fashion, we see a strong brand cycle emerging led by athletic, streetwear & 1990s brands ranging from Vans, Supreme, Tommy Hilfiger & Adidas.”

Fall 2018 Key Findings

Spending & Shopping Behavior

  • Food continues to be teens’ No. 1 spending category, remaining at its 24% peak
  • Chick-fil-A is No. 1 restaurant, followed by Starbucks
  • Male spending on video games reaches a new peak at 14%
  • Most notable brand gainers have been Vans, Adidas, lululemon and surprisingly, Crocs
  • Rotation of female spending out of fashion accessories and into personal care
  • Teens overwhelmingly prefer to shop for color cosmetics in-store (91% of female teens) vs. online

Brand Preferences

  • Brands matter – 45% of teens say “brand” is most important in making a purchase vs. 33% (six years ago)
  • 1990s and streetwear styles continue to grow with Tommy Hilfiger, Supreme, CK and Champion – and even luxury brands including Off-White, Balenciaga and Gucci
  • Nike mindshare declines from 25% to 22%; Adidas remains No. 3 brand
  • Amazon consistently teens’ favorite website - mindshare increases to 47% (44% last spring)
  • Intent to buy iPhone continues to climb – 86% of Gen-Z will choose the iPhone next (compared to 84% last spring)

The Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from approximately 8,600 teens with an average age of 16 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 169,000 teens and collected over 43 million data points on teen spending.

* Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology

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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Piper Jaffray Companies
Pamela Steensland, 612-303-8185


Piper Jaffray Companies
Pamela Steensland, 612-303-8185