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Piper Jaffray completes 35th semi-annual Generation Z survey of more than 6,000 U.S. teens


Overall Spending Behavior

  • 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 stabilizes.


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 US 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.


Piper Jaffray & Co. does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decisions. This report should be read in conjunction with important disclosure information, including an attestation under Regulation Analyst Certification, found at the end of this report or at