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Cheez-Its, Goldfish, and TikTok…Oh My! Gen Z Teens are Spending More

1 Mins read

The just released Piper Sandler Companies’ Taking Stock With Teens® survey in partnership with DECA (the 45th semi-annual) reveals that teens are spending more money, primarily on food, clothes, and makeup.

According to the spring 2023 survey, teen spending is up 2% from spring 2022 to $2,419, with their parents chipping in 60% (down 1%).

Teen boys had the most spending growth (up 6% from last spring) and spent most of their money on food (24%), while teen girls spent the most on clothes (28%, down from 30% last fall).

The core beauty spend (cosmetics, skincare, fragrance) increased 19% from last spring, led by cosmetics (up 32% year-over-year). Teens use more makeup daily (with the bargain-priced e.l.f. remaining their favorite brand). In fact, spending on makeup surpassed the amount spent on skincare for the first time since 2020.

Teen boys spent 12% of all their money on video games (down slightly from 14% last spring), and 32% say they plan to buy a NextGen console within two years.

Piper Sandler notes that “shopping channel preferences shifted to off-price and secondhand.

Gen Z is still socially and politically involved. Their top issues are (in order): the environment, racial equality (moving up the number 2), abortion, inflation, and The Willow Project, a controversial plan to drill for oil in Alaska.

Teens’ tops brands:

  • Nike for clothes and footwear
  • Ulta for beauty products and services (e.l.f. for makeup)
  • Amazon for online shopping
  • Coach for handbags
  • Chick-fil-A is their favorite restaurant, followed very closely by Starbucks
  • Netflix for video consumption
  • Spotify for streaming
  • iPhones
  • TikTok for social media

My favorite stat? Teens say they have the “highest intentions to eat more or the same amount of Cheez-Its and Goldfish.”

Teens stock image by LightField Studios/Shutterstock

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