Taking Stock With Teens®

Piper Sandler completes 39th semi-annual Generation Z survey of 5,200 U.S. teens 

Media Contact
Kelly McGarvey
Piper Sandler & Co.

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  • The survey was conducted from February 17 – March 27 with several teens taking it while quarantined at home
  • Teens “self-reported” spending contracted this Spring by 13% Y/Y & 4% sequentially to $2,300—lowest since Fall 2011
  • Forty-seven percent of teens believe the economy is getting worse—vs. 32% in Fall 2019 & 28% in Spring 2019
  • Food continues to be teens’ No. 1 wallet priority at 25% share up from 23% in Fall
  • Chick-fil-A is No. 1 restaurant (again, trumping Starbucks despite double-digit share); Chipotle gained nicely
  • Fifty-three percent of teens agree they prefer healthy snacks, but fruit/nuts/yogurt were <5% of “favorite snack” mentions
  • Video games is 8% of total teen wallet in-line with last year; 59% expect to purchase a NextGen console
  • Cosmetics spending for females hits 10-year low with spending down >26% Y/Y to $103/year
  • Ulta solidified its lead as No. 1 beauty destination against Sephora; Amazon remains a top-five beauty destination
  • Fifty-three percent of teens cite Amazon as their No.1 favorite e-com site vs. 50% LY; Prime adoption at 80% vs. 76%
  • Teens spend 33% of their daily video consumption on Netflix followed by YouTube at 31%; Disney+ debuts at 7%
  • lululemon hits new survey peak as No. 6 apparel brand; Nike gains share as No. 1 apparel & footwear brand
  • Handbag spending hits survey-low ($89/year); EU luxury gaining share with Louis Vuitton strengthening its No. 2 rank
  • Eighty-five percent of teens own an iPhone and 88% expect an iPhone to be their next phone, both new all-time highs
  • Instagram remains the most frequented social media platform for the fourth consecutive survey; TikTok debuts in third spot
  • Teens care about social/political issues naming the environment as No. 1; Coronavirus took the No. 2 spot
  • Teens’ favorite celebrity is Kevin Hart & most followed influencer on social media David Dobrik, unchanged from fall


The Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project that gathers input from thousands of 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 over 185,000 teens and collected over 46.2 million data points on teen spending.