- Clothing has overtaken food as the highest priority for teens, making up 22% of wallet share, according to Piper Sandler's latest Taking Stock With Teens survey. Teen spending increased 6% year-over-year this fall, with a disproportionate gain by upper-income female teens pushing total fashion spending up 14% YoY.
- Nike remains the top brand for apparel, although Lululemon gained 200 basis points since last fall. Nike is also the top footwear brand, gaining 500 basis points YoY, while Converse and Crocs gained share and Vans lost share.
- In terms of the social platforms most favored by teens, Snapchat (35%) and TikTok (30%) remain at the top of the list this fall, while Instagram (22%) continued to lose share. The survey also found "significant movement" in teens' top social and political issues, with the environment, racial equality and Afghanistan topping the list.
Piper Sandler's Taking Stock With Teens survey is an excellent barometer of teen consumers' tastes, which have evolved as the pandemic continues to shape daily life. Clothing — driven in part by an emerging female-led spending cycle focused on apparel — unseated food as the highest wallet priority as nearly all teens (96%) have returned to school in a hybrid or in-person format. Teens' self-reported spending increased slightly to $2,274 per year, and while clothing is gaining wallet share, video games, movies and personal care all contracted slightly YoY.
Teens' preferred brands saw some movement, and while Nike remains at the top in both apparel and footwear, fashion brands Crocs, Pacsun, Hey Dude, Zara, Shein and Gymshark all gained share. Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Chipotle topped the list of restaurant brands for teens. As for beauty destinations, Ulta is favored by 46% of teens compared to 21% for Sephora.
The latest survey confirms that Gen Z is "conscious" about political and social issues, with the environment and racial equality topping the list. That is translating into some newer buying patterns, with a majority of teens selling (62%) and buying (51%) secondhand.
While teens are returning to schools — and malls — they remain connected online, spending around four hours a day on social media. Snapchat and TikTok remain their favorite sites, as Instagram declined 300 basis points YoY. As for video consumption, Netflix (32%) and YouTube (30%) led the way, with Hulu and other services making gains. Amazon endures as the top website, but saw mindshare slip YoY as female-centric sites like Shein rose.
Piper Sandler surveyed 10,000 teens across 44 U.S. states with an average age of 15.8 years for this edition of Taking Stock With Teens.