Some things never change.
Gen Z teenagers who don’t have the responsibilities they’ll inherit in the years to come spend their money like… teenagers without responsibilities.
Members of Generation Z were born after 1996, which means that the oldest members of this generation are around 25 years old.
Gen Z makes up just over 20% of the US population, according to Statista.
Marketers have been targeting teenagers for generations because the money kids have to spend has increased over the decades.
In 2018, Millennial Marketing predicts that Generation Z would become the largest generation of consumers by 2020. At the time, it accounted for between $29 billion and $143 billion in direct spending. This figure does not include the $127 billion their parents spend on them, according to some estimates.
Meanwhile, a study of Economy of Oxford suggests Gen Z incomes will hit $2 trillion by 2030.
Gen Z spends a lot of time in front of screens with four and a half hours a day spent on mobile devices and an additional three and a half hours spent on laptops, according to World Web Index.
The Generation Z photo by Piper Sandler
Investment bank Piper Sandler recently released the results of its 43rd biannual Taking Stock With Teens survey.
The survey of 7,100 American teenagers received regional responses of 45% from the South, 22% from the West, 21% from the Midwest and 12% from the Northeast.
Teen self-reported spending reached $2,367, up 4% sequentially and 9% year-over-year, with parents contributing 60% of that total.
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Women led the increase in spending, rising 9% year over year, driven by a 15% increase in clothing spending and a 16% increase in footwear spending.
High-income teens made food spending their top priority, accounting for 22% of their share.
Beauty spending rose 10% year over year to $264 per year, driven by a 33% increase in fragrance spending. Among beauty care products, skincare was the highest priority with an average annual spend of $107, followed by cosmetics at $94 and hair care at $90.
About 53% of teens cited Amazon (AMZN) – Get the report from Amazon.com, Inc. as a favorite e-commerce site, down 3% from the previous year.
As 87% of teens said they have an iPhone, it makes sense that Apple Pay (AAPL) – Get the Apple Inc. report. was the highest ranked payment option. from PayPal (PYPL) – Get the report from PayPal Holdings, Inc. Venmo placed second, with PayPal itself placing fourth. Cash App was the third ranked payment option.
Gen Z picks winners and losers
Now that we know what teens spend their money on, the next question is which brands do they prefer.
TikTok overtook Snapchat (INSTANTANEOUS) – Get the Class A report from Snap, Inc. as the most preferred social media platform with a 33% share. Snapchat held a 31% share, well ahead of Meta Platforms (Facebook) – Get the Class A report from Meta Platforms Inc. third place Instagram with a share of 22%.
Crocs rose in popularity from eighth to sixth most popular brand, while Vans lost 400 basis points in the footwear category among all teens and 600 basis points among high-income teens.
Chic-Fil-A was the best restaurant choice, along with Starbucks (SBUX) – Get the Starbucks Corporation report comes second with an 11% share. Chipotle (GCM) – Get the report from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. was third after gaining 300 basis points and reaching an 8% share.
Teenagers are less interested in plant-based meat, with just 43% eating it or willing to try it, down from 49% in spring 2021.