Millennials: Why It’s All Athletic Gear, Food, Gaming and YouTube

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Wondering where the next marketing phenomenon is coming from? Well, according to a study of 10,000 American teens with an average age of 16 if you’re in the athletic wear, food, YouTube and gaming business then you’re set to do very well indeed.

The autumn report (or “fall” as they call it) by US investment bank Piper Jaffray has found that although spending amongst school-aged teens in general is down there are a few winners.

The most surprising finding of its latest report titled Taking Stock With Teens Survey found that more American teens now watch YouTube than cable TV.

Commenting on the report, Piper Jaffray senior research analyst, Neely Tamminga, said: “While total spending among the teen demographic appears to be down slightly versus last year, we are encouraged that the upper-income teenagers in our survey are indicating more optimism and positive spending trends. This increase in spending among upper-income teens seems to be largely broad-based across fashion and beauty.”

The key findings of the Taking Stock With Teens Survey included:

  • While overall teen spending is down compared to autumn (fall) 2015, spending trends are encouraging among upper-income teens where total spending is indicated up 2.5 per cent year-over-year.
  • Denim brands saw an uptick to 19 per cent aggregated mindshare and showed up as a top trend among upper-income females for the second consecutive survey in a row.
  • Among upper-income teens, fashion athletic apparel is still on the rise with a new high of 35 per cent share achieved with Nike, adidas and Under Armour gaining share.
  • The beauty category’s wallet share among upper-income females reached 11 per cent ―the highest value seen in our survey history. Specialty store formats continue to outpace legacy channels for beauty.
  • Restaurants represented 23 per cent of overall spending for upper-income teens; however, the report found the meals they were ordering weren’t more than $US5 to $US17.
  • Amazon Prime adoption has grown across all income brackets in each of the past six surveys, most recently indicating Amazon Prime exists in 58 per cent 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 any 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.

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