Facebook Teen Engagement Declines

October 23, 2018

Piper Jaffray has 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.

“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.

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