Taking Stock With Teens®

Piper Sandler completes 42nd semi-annual Generation Z survey of 10,000 U.S. teens 

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Media Contact

Pamela Steensland
Piper Sandler & Co.


  • Our 42nd semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey was conducted between August 17 and September 16
  • Regional responses were 47% in the South (vs. 48% Spring); NE at 10% (same as Spring)
  • 38% of teens hold a part-time job – up from 33% in both Spring 2021 and Fall 2020
  • 91% of teens this Fall went back to school in-person, 5% in a hybrid format & 4% remain virtual
  • 75% of teens or their households have been vaccinated
  • Teen “self-reported” spending improved to $2,274 – up 5% sequentially & 6% Y/Y; parent contribution was 61%
  • Clothing (22% of wallet share) is the No. 1 priority for the first time since Fall 2014—surpassing Food at No. 2 (21% share)
  • +MSD growth Y/Y in apparel & footwear spend (led by females); female spending on accessories +10% Y/Y
  • Areas of slight wallet share contraction Y/Y included: Video Games, Movies & Personal Care
  • Spending within beauty is evolving, with sequential build for haircare (+8%) and fragrance (+14%) while skin and cosmetics lag
  • Teens allocate 8% of their shopping time to secondhand; 51% of teens have purchased & 62% have sold secondhand
  • Chick-Fil-A is No. 1 restaurant for all teens; Starbucks remained No. 2 (+100 bps of share Y/Y); Chipotle No. 3 (5% share)
  • 14% of teens consume plant-based meat with Impossible Foods as No. 1 (40% share) & Beyond Meat No. 2 (31%)
  • Video games are 8% of teen wallet share vs. 10% LY; 52% expect to purchase a NextGen console
  • Teens spend 32% of their daily video consumption on Netflix followed by YouTube (30%); Hulu & Other streaming gain
  • Cash is (still) king for teens as top payment method followed by Apple Pay
  • PYPL’s Venmo again ranked #1 with teens for payment apps, and its “Pay in 4” is teens’ top buy now pay later offering
  • 9% of teens claim to have traded cryptocurrency; 78% of these teens are male
  • 52% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-com site (down 200 bps Y/Y); SHEIN took No. 2 spot (9% share; +400 bps Y/Y)
  • Nike is the No. 1 apparel brand for teens & LULU gains 200 bps Y/Y; Nike is the No. 1 footwear brand—up 500 bps Y/Y
  • Crocs, PacSun, Hey Dude, Zara, SHEIN, Gymshark are all fashion brands gaining share, Under Armour & Vans had mixed results
  • Ulta gained 400 bps share Y/Y as No. 1 beauty destination with 46% share; Sephora No. 2 at 21% share
  • Handbag spending improved to $96—up 10% Y/Y and up 3% sequentially, Michael Kors back in No. 1 spot
  • 87% of teens own an iPhone and 88% expect an iPhone to be their next phone; Apple is No. 1 watch brand for first time
  • Snapchat is the favorite social media platform (35% share) followed by TikTok (30%) & Instagram (22%, -300 bps Y/Y)
  • Significant movement in top social & political issues led by Environment, Racial Equality & Afghanistan
  • Teens’ favorite celebrity is Adam Sandler and favorite influencer is Emma Chamberlain (unseating David Dobrik)


The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 10,000 teens with an average age of 15.8 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 211,800 teens and collected over 53.1 million data points on teen spending.