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What Generation Z Likes & Doesn’t Like

Twice a year, Piper Jaffrey (an independent banking company) surveys almost 10,000 teens to discover what they like, what they don’t like, and what they care about. (Respondents are from 42 states; this year, the average respondent’s age was about 16.) The company just released its latest report (Fall, 2019), and I thought you’d enjoy seeing the results. I also offer my take on what they mean. This is the latest on Generation Z.

Top Five Clothing Brands Top Five Influencers
1. Nike 1. David Dobrik
2. American Eagle 2. Kylie Jenner
3. Adidas 3. Donald Trump
3. Hollister 4. PewDiePie
5. PacSun 5. Emma Chamberlain
Top Five Social Causes Top Five Restaurants
1. Environment 1. Chick-fil-A
2. Immigration 2. Starbucks
3. Gun Control 3. Chipotle
4. Abortion 4. McDonald’s
5. Racial Equality 5. Dunkin Donuts
Top Five Celebrities Top Shopping Websites
1. Kevin Hart 1. Amazon
2. Tom Holland 2. Nike
3. Lebron James 3. American Eagle
4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson 4. Urban Outfitters
5. Ariana Grande 5. Ebay
Daily Video Consumption Social Media Engagement
1. Youtube 1. Instagram
2. Netflix 2. Snapchat
3. Cable 3. Twitter
4. Hulu 4. Facebook
5. Amazon Prime 5. Pinterest
Main Footwear Brands Top Snacks
1. Nike 1. Lays
2. Vans 2. Goldfish
3. Adidas 3. Cheez-It
4. Converse 4. Doritos
5. Foot Locker 5. Cheetos

Some Critical Takeaways For Generation Z

If you’re like me, some of these results were predictable and expected. On the other hand, some of them surprised me. Generation Z is both trendy (most youth generations are progressive) and traditional (they also embrace many conservative values.) Here is a summary that may be worth discussing with your colleagues. My question is: How well do you know Generation Z?

1. Food continues to be Gen Z’s top spending category, and Chick-fil-A is their favorite. They eat fast food, but they seem to prefer quality fast food.

2. Video games consume 9% of their money, up slightly from last year. They love entertainment and hate being bored for any length of time.

3. Interestingly, President Donald Trump made their top three list of influencers. While teens usually claim to be progressive, presidents always rank high in influence.

4. Eighty-six percent of teens expect an iPhone to be their next phone, an all-time survey high. Apple products carry a “cool factor,” and teens want to be associated with it.

5. Instagram continues to be their top social media platform; Snapchat is a close second. They want to post videos and pictures; words are used less frequently to communicate.

6. Generation Z teens self-reported spending 4% less money in 2019 than last year. They are more frugal than the Millennials were at their age.

Are you interested in knowing more about Generation Z?  We’ve just released our latest book, called: Generation Z Unfiltered—Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population. You can learn more or order it HERE.


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  4. Becky McDonald on November 21, 2019 at 10:05 am

    As an educator, I work with Generation Z every day. The one thing I know for sure is they are looking for authentic role models and want to make a marked difference. They want to put their hearts and hands to work to make this world a better place and they can see right through the phony people who proclaim they are good. They just haven’t got time for those kinds of people. They are looking for something real…real experiences that jolt them and make them feel alive, real giving, not for some agenda, and real people who will stand by you when you mess up! I have taught middle school for 15 years and am thankful that this generation, when able to take the platform, will be speaking up for positive change and not listening to those who blow smoke and make empty promises!

  5. Jeff Keck on December 26, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Well said, Becky. I too am excited about the good that will come through Gen Z.

  6. Maks on July 28, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Here’s the store you need

  7. Helen Richert on December 5, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Well, nice article about footwear and all, but I like Reebok shoes only and I have been searching for their online footwear delivery service. I have read some reviews on adore me website, and I found their adore me customer service number. I found their services quite useful, I think will order something from there asap.

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What Generation Z Likes & Doesn’t Like