US investment bank Piper Jaffray's biannual Taking Stock With Teens survey takes the pulse of the US teen market, highlighting the latest shopping behaviours and brand preferences among 13- to 19-year-olds.
Key trends included:
- Ethical Fast Food: Teens are spending on average 20% of their money on food – up from 15% 10 years ago. According to the survey, Chipotle and Starbucks are among the highest-rated restaurants for high-income teens – ranking above fast-food chains such as McDonald's and Chick-Fil-A. Both Chipotle and Starbucks are heavily pushing their sustainability credentials – for more on how ethical eating is appealing to younger consumers, read Feeding Gen Y.
- Super-Visual Social Networks: Instagram is now the leading social network among this hyper-visual demographic. Some 76% of US teenagers are members, a 7% increase from six months ago. Facebook suffered a striking fall in popularity among teens. Just 45% said they use the social networking site – down from 72% in the April edition of the survey. For more on the fall of Facebook, see US Teens & Social Media.
- Fitness-First Fashion: Canadian activewear brand LuluLemon's yoga leggings were named as the top fashion item for teenage girls, closely followed by crop tops, high-waisted trousers and Nike shoes. "Sportswear influences have been filtering down from the fashion catwalks for a few seasons now," says Lisa Payne, assistant editor of Fashion & Beauty at Stylus. "Consumers no longer see sportswear as "downtime" wear. They are willing to pay high prices for good-quality sportswear, and wear it with the same pride as luxury pieces."
For more insights into today's teenagers, take a look at Gen Z: Tech Titans, or listen to our recent webinar, Future Consumers.