Teens would rather dine at Starbucks than buy more clothes

It seems there’s at least one thing teens care more about than what they wear — what they eat.

According to Piper Jaffray’s biannual Taking Stock With Teens study, teens are spending more money on food than clothing, a trend that’s been taking hold for several years.

The survey included responses from 6,000 teenagers who had an average age of 16. The 1,400 teens who fell in the upper-income group had an average household income of about $100,000, while the 4,600 teens in the group from average-income households had a mean income of about $56,000.

“Food remains the single largest category of spend within the teen wallet,” analyst Nicole Miller Regan, wrote in a research note Tuesday.

Upper-income teenagers are spending 24 percent of their cash on food, which trumped the amount spent on clothing by 4 percentage points. Teens from average-income homes are spending about 21 percent on food, 2 percentage points higher than their clothing spend.

“Broadly speaking, we see Spring 2018 results as a continuation of the trend of restaurant spend outpacing clothing spend as first seen in the Spring 2014 survey cycle,” Regan said. “We believe this reflects the restaurant industry’s arguably less discretionary nature as a category of spending relative to other consumer (discretionary) categories.”

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