These brands are hot for young consumers.
Investors are always looking ahead to the next big trend in the market. Traditionally, younger Americans have been trendsetters in the economy, so it’s always wise for investors to keep an eye on what Generation Z is buying. U.S. investment bank Piper Jaffray surveyed more than 8,000 American teens to identify where they are eating, what they are buying and how they are spending their time online. Here are eight stocks that represent top brands among U.S. teens.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (ticker: CMG)
Chipotle and its investors have been through the ringer in the past several years, but a new CEO and high scores among younger diners may be signs that Chipotle is finally back on the right track. Chipotle is the third most preferred restaurant brand among upper-income teens surveyed at 8 percent, indicating it’s their top pick for dining. Piper Jaffray also found Chipotle is making a comeback among average-income teens, returning to the top five brands for the first time since spring 2017. CMG stock is Piper Jaffray’s top recovery stock investment idea.
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)
Aside from privately-held Chick-fil-A, Starbucks is the most preferred restaurant brand among upper-income teens at 12 percent and average-income teens at 10 percent. While Starbucks’ mindshare — the relative public awareness — among upper-income teens is up from 11 percent a year ago, its mindshare among average-income teens remains below its peak of 18 percent in 2013. Piper Jaffray’s recent traffic checks suggest Starbucks is on track for positive same-store sales growth in the near term, and the company’s focus on expanding its menu and technology offerings should help keep it a top destination among teens.
Nike once again dominated the teen survey apparel section. Among teens of all incomes, 41 percent chose Nike as their preferred footwear brand. That mindshare is down from 51 percent in spring 2017, but it is well ahead of a distant-second Vans, which holds 19 percent of mindshare. Nike was again named the top overall favorite apparel brand as well, with the company’s mindshare dropping to 22 percent from 24 percent a year ago. Finally, among upper-income teen males, Nike Jordan remains the top fashion trend with 14 percent mindshare, up from 12 percent a year ago.
VF Corp. (VFC)
Piper Jaffray says VF, the parent company of the Vans brand, was by far the largest mindshare gainer among teens of all ages in the entire fall 2018 teen survey. Among upper-income female teens, Vans has gained 19 percent mindshare since spring of 2017 — the largest two-year gain of any brand in the survey’s history. Vans is second only to Nike as the preferred footwear brand, and it has surpassed Nike as the top footwear brand among upper-income female teens. Vans are also the third most popular fashion trend among both upper-income male and female teens.
If there’s one thing teenagers still have in common with their middle-aged parents these days, it may be Amazon. The teen survey revealed that Amazon remains a top brand among teens and is even gaining mindshare as the top preferred site for online shopping. Nearly half — 47 percent — of teens names Amazon their top e-commerce destination, up from 44 percent six months ago. That’s well ahead of Nike, it’s nearest competition, which holds 5 percent of mindshare. Piper Jaffray estimates Amazon Prime adoption continues to rise and is now more than 80 million U.S. households.
Teens have been abandoning the primary Facebook platform in droves, but investors don’t care for one simple reason: Instagram. In the latest survey, Facebook-owned Instagram surpassed the Snapchat (SNAP) platform as the most popular social media site among teens with 85 percent of those surveyed indicating they use Instagram at least once a month. As long as Instagram’s popularity keeps trending in the right direction, Facebook investors can shrug off that only 28 percent of teens use its main platform.
The popularity of the Apple iPhone still seems to be trending positively among teens. In the latest survey, 82 percent of teens said they currently own an iPhone, and 86 percent said the next phone they purchase will be an iPhone. That percentage is up from 84 percent in the past six months — the highest smartphone mindshare Piper Jaffray has recorded. Piper Jaffray says the survey results suggest strong demand among teens for the latest family of X-generation iPhones. The survey also revealed growing interest in the Apple Watch.
For years, Netflix investors have been betting on the death of the cable TV model and the rise of over-the-top media services. The Piper Jaffray survey confirms that, as far as teens are concerned, the transition has already happened. Teens revealed that 38 percent of the time they spend viewing video content is spent on Netflix. YouTube is a close second at 33 percent. Pay TV is a distant third at just 16 percent. Pay TV’s dwindling share is still dropping like a stone, down another 4 percent in the past six months alone.
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