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Report Shows Where Gen Z Spends Their Money

Image via Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Generation Z is typically described as those born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s. A Bloomberg analysis of United Nations data found that Gen Z represents nearly one-third of the world's population.

As Gen Z teenagers move towards adulthood and represent a larger portion of consumer spending, a lot of attention is paid to their habits and preferences when it comes to spending.

Piper Sandler released its 40th biannual "Taking Stock with Teens" report, which showed teenagers' "self-reported" spending hit at an all-time survey low of $2,150, marking a drop of 9% from last fall's survey. Annual self reported spending hit an all-time high of $3,023 in the spring of 2006.

Piper Sandler surveyed 9,800 teens with an average age of 15.8 years old across 48 states online between August 19 and September 22. 48% of the respondents believe the economy is getting worse compared to 47% in the spring and just 32% last fall. 33% of those surveyed said they are currently part-time employed, while 23% of those not working said Covid-19 affected their ability to work.

Regardless, teens still did spend and Piper Sandler's report provides some interesting insight into their spending habits. 54% of respondents chose Amazon as their favorite e-commerce website, followed by SHEIN and Nike with 5% each. 90% of those surveyed said they've shopped online during the fall, while just 33% of teens said they've shopped in a department store or specialty retail store.

Nike is the favorite footwear brand by a mile as 52% of teens named it their favorite, followed by Vans and Adidas with 17% and 11%, respectively. Nike's clothing continues to rank high among teens with more than a quarter of respondents ranking it their favorite brand. Teens in the survey have now ranked Nike as their favorite clothing brand for a decade straight.

Teens overwhelmingly prefer Chick-fil-a as 21% of teens selected it as their favorite restaurant. 10% of respondents chose Starbucks, while 9% picked Chipotle as their favorite. The report found that 47% of teens either consume or are open to consuming plant-based meat and even prompted the firm to raise its price target on shares of Beyond Meat from $130.00 per share to $178.00.

"This suggests plant-based eating is more on-trend with younger consumers, which could drive growth over time as consumers age. Our teen survey results suggest Impossible and Beyond are the early leaders in plant-based meat brand awareness, as they had the most mentions among brands tried by teens," Piper Sandler senior research analyst Michael Lavery wrote.

As Gen Z gets older it will be interesting to see if they remain loyal to these companies and if their spending habits change.

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