Food is Gen Z’s top spending priority, taking 23% share of their wallet this spring, according to a semiannual report from Piper Sandler assessing teen spending and brand preferences. This figure is up from 21% in the fall of 2020 but down from 25% a year ago.
Food has the greatest share of spending among upper-income male teens age 13 to 19 (23%), according to the survey. It ranks second behind clothing among female teens, who still devote 24% of their spending to food.
The report, which looked at teen snacking and plant-based meat, found a high interest in healthier eating. According to the survey, 54% of teens preferred healthy snacks, and 49% consume or were willing to try plant-based meat.
Gen Z has shown a preference for healthy eating, including more organic and natural foods that are free of additives. This is largely because they are growing up during an age of health and wellness where consumers are paying more attention to the ingredients list compared to prior generations.
However, while more than half of teens in the spring 2021 Piper Sandler survey reported preferring healthy snacks, only 3% listed fruits, vegetables or nuts as a favorite snack item.
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