Teen spending is down, but the majority of their money still goes to this fast-food chain

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When it comes to their money, teens are pretty greedy. That’s because food is their No. 1 priority in terms of wallet share — and Chick-fil-A is their favorite restaurant.

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Researchers from investment banking company Piper Jaffray took a look at Generation Z spending in their semi-annual survey, and found while overall buying for young people is down 4 percent on the year, there are a few things they just can’t live without.

Fast food is the top vice. But teens aren’t alone in their love of chicken nuggets and waffle fries. Chick-fil-A hit a whopping $10 billion in revenue last year, according to a press statement. That was just shy of mega-brands McDonald’s and Starbucks.

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"I would be surprised if they didn't double that in the not-too-distant future," Mark Kalinowski, founder of Kalinowski Equity Research, told Business Insider in May. "Can they reach $30 billion? I think that's also a realistic goal if you give them enough time.”

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The survey looked at some other trends besides food: Of the 9,500 respondents at an average age of 15.8, teens spent an estimated $2,400 annually with discretionary income.

They’re sort of waning on beauty. Salon brand Ulta was their top choice in that category, beating out even Sephora. But spending on cosmetics was down on the year, dropping 21 percent since the survey. Handbag spending was down, too, sinking to an all-time low of $90 a year.

Video games took just 9 percent of total teen wallet share, up 8 percent since last year.

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When it comes to online shopping, Amazon ranked No. 1 as teens’ favorite website, jumping up 2 percent since the spring. YouTube got the most of their downtime: They spent 37 percent of daily video consumption watching it, versus 35 percent for Netflix.

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