Teen Scene

Date posted: April 24, 2017


To market to teens, here’s what you need to know.

By Rieva Lesonsky

One of my favorite surveys was just released: Piper Jaffray’s Spring 2017 Taking Stock With Teens®, a semiannual look at teen purchasing behavior. Teen spending is down 2.4% from this time last year.

Continuing the trend of the last few years, teens are spending more of their money on food—it makes up 24% of their budgets, eclipsing clothing at 19%. When you break it down, upper-income boys (kids with household incomes of $100,000) spend their money on food (24%), clothing (16%) and video games (12%), while upper-income girls are buying clothes (25%), food (23%) and personal care/accessories (16%).

The most popular website for upper-income teens to shop at is Amazon, so if teens are your market, think about opening an Amazon store.

Athletic wear, including leggings and sneakers, is the most popular type of clothing teens buy. Teen girls are also buying a lot of chokers at the moment. Although Nike is the top footwear brand, adidas is the fastest-growing brand in the survey.

When it comes to food, the top brands for teens from upper-income households and average-income households (HHI $55,000) prefer Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings. The upper-income kids include Panera in their top five places to eat, while average-income teens put McDonald’s on their top five.

Of course, teens are big users of social media. Their top platforms (in order) are: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. When asked about the “best way” for businesses to communicate with them about new products and promotions, the overwhelming response was Instagram.

You can check out the whole report here.

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