Taking Stock With Teens® - Spring 2016

A collaborative consumer insights project

Since the survey’s inception 16 years ago, Piper Jaffray has surveyed approximately 130,000 teens and collected more than 37 million data points on teen spending in fashion, beauty and personal care, digital media, food, gaming and entertainment. 

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Key findings from the survey in fashion and beauty, digital media, food, gaming and entertainment include the following:

  • While overall teen spending is down compared to fall 2015, spending trends are encouraging among upper-income teens where total spending is indicated up 2.5% year-over-year. Historically, we’ve observed that results from our upper-income survey set tend to lead overall spending.
  • Denim brands saw an uptick to 19% aggregated mindshare and showed up as a top trend among upper-income females for the second consecutive survey.
  • Among upper-income teens, fashion athletic apparel is still on the rise with a new high of 35% share achieved with Nike, adidas and Under Armour gaining share.
  • The beauty category’s wallet share among upper-income females reached 11%―the highest value seen in our survey history. Specialty store formats continue to outpace legacy channels for beauty.
  • Restaurants represented 23% of overall spending for upper-income teens; teens are choosing limited-service concepts at nearly a 50% greater rate than full-service concepts. With that, teens consider the overall value equation versus price-alone when choosing preferred dining destinations, with the average check ranging from $5 to $17.
  • Amazon Prime adoption has grown across all income brackets in each of the past six surveys, most recently indicating Amazon Prime exists in 58% of households of the teens surveyed. This survey, along with other previous Piper Jaffray consumer surveys, suggests that there are 63-66 million Prime households in the U.S.
  • For the first time in our survey, YouTube outpaced cable TV when teens respond to how they spend their time.
  • The only two categories that exceed male teen spending on video games (12%) are food (20%) and clothing (16%). Video game spending among males remains above survey history averages.
  • The most anticipated movies this year among teens are: 1) Fast 8; 2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story takes the second seat; and 3) Beauty and the Beast. Overall Disney Studios’ mindshare among teens is on the rise.

About the Survey

The Taking Stock With Teens® survey is a semi-annual research project comprised of gathering input from approximately 10,000 teens with an average age of 16.0 years. Teen spending patterns, fashion trends, and brand and media preferences were assessed through surveying a geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S.