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Nike and Chick-fil-A are winning the hearts of American teens. Instagram is losing them

Snapchat is king. Beyond Meat is tasty. A new report from Piper Sandler offers insight into the hearts, minds, and wallets of generation Z.

Nike and Chick-fil-A are winning the hearts of American teens. Instagram is losing them
[Photo: rawpixel; Malvestida Magazine/Unsplash]
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Your parents used to walk 25 miles past hills and valleys to the nearest one-room schoolhouse, but now your children attend virtual classes via Zoom calls from their bed.

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The times, they’re always changing. But these days, as the oldest members of generation Z are graduating into their 20s, there’s a rush to understand the demographic that’s about to attain a new level of purchasing power.

In its annual survey of U.S. teens, financial firm Piper Sandler offers some insight into the minds—and wallets—of the “zoomer” population. Where do they eat? What do they wear? Who do they follow?

For starters, it found, Instagram might have a new teen problem on its hands: It’s no longer the favorite social media platform among that age group. Snapchat and TikTok take the top two spots, while Instagram dropped several points from the previous year. This development comes years after Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, began wrestling with its own aging user base.

Among other consumer products, Nike and Apple are clear favorites. Nike was the top clothing brand by 20 percentage points and the top footwear brand by 44 percentage points, and according to the report, 88% of teens own an iPhone, and 90% expect an iPhone to be their next phone. Amazon, meanwhile, was the top shopping website by far, with 56% of the market voting it number one.

Food was the greatest wallet priority listed, with Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, and Chipotle making up the top three restaurants.

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And furthering a millennial trend, the youngest generation also seems inclined to be socially conscious: 15% of teens consumed sustainable plant-based meat, with Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat tied for top share, and nearly 40% named racial equality and the environment as personal causes.

If you’re wondering where these survey respondents—which include 7,000 American teens with an average age of 16.1 years—got their spending cash, the report says 33% of them hold a part-time job. But not to be discounted are parental contributions, which provided a majority—61% of the total money spent. The average household income for respondents was $76,750, suggesting a slightly more affluent crowd.

You can check out the full report here.