Taking Stock With Teens®

Piper Sandler completes 41st semi-annual Generation Z survey of more than 7,000 U.S. teens 

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Pamela Steensland
Piper Sandler & Co.


  • Regional responses were 48% in the South (vs. 42% Fall); NE at 10% (same as Fall)
  • 33% of teens hold a part-time job—unchanged from Fall 2020 but below the 37% level in Spring 2020
  • Teen “self-reported” spending improved slightly to $2,165—up 1% sequentially; parent contribution was 61%
  • Female spend inflecting for clothing +9% Y/Y, strongest Y/Y gain since 2015 (male spending still down)
  • 46% of teens believe the economy is getting worse vs. 48% in Fall; 25% of teens believe it is getting better
  • Skincare spending for females ahead of makeup spending; seeing modest recovery in overall beauty wallet
  • Teens allocate 8% of their shopping time to secondhand; 47% of teens have purchased & 55% have sold secondhand
  • Food returns as teens’ No. 1 wallet priority at 23% share up from 21% in Fall 2020 but down from 25% LY
  • Chick-Fil-A is No. 1 restaurant, Starbucks No. 2 (+DD share); Chipotle No. 3 gained 300 bps of share to 11% (vs. 8% LY); McDonald’s ceded 200 bps of share Y/Y but remains a top 5 brand
  • 15% of teens consume plant-based meat with Impossible Foods & Beyond Meat tied as the No. 1 choice
  • Video games are 9% of teen wallet share vs. 8% LY; 53% expect to purchase a NextGen console & 4% already own
  • Teens spend 32% of their daily video consumption on Netflix followed by YouTube (31%); Prime & Other streaming gained
  • Cash is (still) king for teens as top payment method followed by Apple Pay; Venmo is the most used payment app
  • 9% of teens claim to have traded cryptocurrency; 81% of these teens are male
  • 56% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-com site; SHEIN took No. 2 spot (7% share; +500 bps Y/Y)
  • Nike is the No. 1 fashion brand for teens—up 200 bps Y/Y; Nike is the No. 1 footwear brand—up 900 bps Y/Y
  • Ulta gained 700 bps share Y/Y as No. 1 beauty destination with 46% share; Sephora share stabilized; Amazon lost share
  • Handbag spending improved to $93—up 4% Y/Y and up 7% sequentially, reversing a multi-year low; LV remained No. 1
  • 88% of teens own an iPhone and 90% expect an iPhone to be their next phone. Both are new all-time highs
  • Snapchat is the favorite social media platform (31% share) followed by TikTok (30%) & Instagram (24%, down 700 bps Y/Y)
  • Significant movement in top social & political issues led by Racial Equality, Environment & Black Lives Matter
  • Teens’ favorite celebrity is Kevin Hart and most followed influencer is David Dobrik


The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens®survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 7,000 teens with an average age of 16.1 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 Sandler has surveyed more than 201,800 teens and collected over 49.7 million data points on teen spending.