Taking Stock With Teens®

Piper Sandler completes 43rd semi-annual Generation Z survey of 7,100 U.S. teens 

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Media Contact

Pamela Steensland
Piper Sandler & Co.

Spring 2022 KEY FINDINGS

Demographics & Spending:

  • Our 43rd semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey was conducted between February 16 and March 22
  • Regional responses were 45% in the South, 22% in the West, 21% in the Midwest and 12% in the Northeast
  • 39% of teens hold a part-time job – up from 38% last fall and 33% in spring 2021
  • Teen “self-reported” spending improved to $2,367 or +4% sequentially & 9% Y/Y; parent contribution was 60% vs 61% last fall
  • Females lead increase in spending, with all female spend +9% Y/Y lead by clothing +15% and footwear +16%;
  • Food returns to upper-income teens’ No. 1 wallet priority at 22% share, up from 21% in fall 2021 but down from 23% LY
  • Teens allocate 7% of their shopping time to secondhand; 46% of teens have purchased & 56% have sold secondhand
  • The core beauty wallet (cosmetics, skincare, fragrance) stood at $264/year, up 10% Y/Y and led by fragrance (+33% Y/Y)
  • Skincare held the highest priority of spending in the beauty wallet at $107, followed by cosmetics at $94 and haircare at $90
  • 60% of females read ingredients in beauty products. 88% would pay more for “clean” and 58% would pay more for “science-backed”
  • For payment apps, Apple Pay ranked first, partly due to 87% of teens in the survey saying they have an iPhone
  • PYPL’s Venmo ranked No. 2 (with the PayPal app No. 4) behind Apple Pay among payment apps used in the last month while SQ’s Cash App ranked No. 3
  • For buy now pay later (BNPL), teens said they used PayPal “Pay in 4” most frequently, followed by SQ’s Afterpay
  • Cash is the most penetrated payment method, with 89% teens saying they used cash in the past month vs 83% LY
  • While 26% of teens own a VR device, just 5% use it daily. 48% of teens are either unsure or not interested in the Metaverse

Brand & Preference Rankings:

  • 53% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-com site (-300 bps Y/Y); Importantly, Amazon decreased from 47% share to 35% Y/Y among upper-income females
  • Nike is the No. 1 apparel brand for teens & LULU gains 300 bps Y/Y; Nike is the No. 1 footwear brand—up 400 bps Y/Y
  • Athletic brands mindshare accounted for 44% of teens' favorite apparel brand – the most ever in our survey by 300 bps
  • Crocs increased from the No. 8 preferred footwear brand to No. 6 while Hey Dude is in the top 10 for two consecutive surveys
  • Vans lost 400 bps of mindshare as a favorite footwear brand and 600 bps of share among upper-income teens
  • e.l.f. rose to the No. 1 preferred makeup brand for all teens for the first time–-gaining 300 bps Y/Y and displacing Maybelline
  • Ulta remained the No. 1 preferred beauty destination with 48% mindshare (46% LY) while Sephora remained at No. 2 and ceded 400 bps of share
  • Olaplex was the No. 1 preferred haircare brand among females with 11% mindshare and 15% share among UI females
  • Chick-Fil-A is No. 1 restaurant; Chipotle No. 3 gained 300 bps of share to 8% (vs. 5% LY); Starbucks remained No. 2 at 11% mindshare
  • Teens' interest in plant-based meat is slipping; 43% consume or are willing to try it, down from 49% in spring 2021
  • 87% of teens own an iPhone and 87% expect an iPhone to be their next phone; 72% of teens already have AirPods
  • Teens spend 30% of their daily video consumption on Netflix and YouTube (both 30%); HBO Max gained share
  • TikTok is the favorite social media platform (33% share) surpassing Snapchat for the first time (31%); Instagram was again third (22%)
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the most important political or social issue -- combining gas prices and inflation results in 14% mindshare, enough to displace the Russian/Ukraine situation


The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from 7,100 teens with an average age of 16.2 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 218,900 teens and collected over 54.8 million data points on teen spending.