In Insight, Marketing, Trend

Piper Jaffray has been surveying teens twice a year since 2001, engaging more than 169,000 teens and collecting over 43 million data points on teen spending. The 2018 Fall 38th semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens survey was just released, with input gathered from approximately 8,600 teens. Discretionary spending patterns, fashion trends, technology, and brand and media preferences were assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the US.

“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,” Erinn Murphy, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst said in a statement. “Within fashion, we see a strong brand cycle emerging led by athletic, streetwear & 1990s brands ranging from Vans, Supreme, Tommy Hilfiger & Adidas.”

Social Platform Behavior: 

  • 85% of participants used Instagram at least once a month compared with an equivalent figure of 84% for Snapchat.
  • Snapchat was picked as the “favorite social platform” by 46% of those questioned, while Instagram was chosen by 32%.

Top Beauty Destinations:

  1. Sephora
  2. Ulta
  3. Walmart
  4. Target
  5. CVS

Top Cosmetics Brands:

  1. Tarte
  2. Too Faced
  3. MAC
  4. Maybelline
  5. Anastasia Beverley Hills

Spending & Shopping Behavior:

  • Food continues to be teens’ number-one spending category, remaining at its 24% peak.
  • Chick-fil-A is number-one 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).

Other Key Findings:

  • Overall spending is up 1% vs. fall 2017, but down 5% from spring 2018.
  • 45% of teens say “brand” is most important in making a purchase, vs. 33% six years ago.
  • Beauty spending is flat year to year; MAC declined further, while Ulta and Sephora saw gains
  • Amazon was the number-one preferred website for teens to purchase from

Photo: Analise Benevides via Unsplash 

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