A Closer Look at Gen Z’s Eating and Shopping Habits

Food is Gen Z’s No. 1 wallet priority at 23%, according to Piper Sandler’s annual Taking Stock with Teens survey. The survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 7,000 teens across 47 U.S. states.


Here are some key stats when it comes to what Gen Z is eating these days:

  • Chick-fil-A is the most popular restaurant among Gen Z, keeping its No. 1 spot for seven consecutive surveys. It was followed by Starbucks and Chipotle.
  • As for snacking, Lays is the most preferred brand among teens at 11%, followed closely by Campbell’s Goldfish (9%).
  • Notably, 49% of teens either consume or are willing to try plant-based meat, with Impossible Foods as the No. 1 choice, followed closely by Beyond Meat.


Today’s young consumers also care that companies they buy from have a social conscience.

“GenZ is a conscious generation as teens this spring cite racial equality and the environment as their top-two social issues,” said Erinn Murphy, Piper Sandler senior research analyst in a press release.

Gen Z also aligns with values-based descriptors like cell-based meat, cannabis, and sustainable.


The Piper Sandler survey found that Amazon remains teens’ top preferred online shopping mindshare at 56%. This finding is reflected in a similar report from Deal Aid which found that 87.6% of Gen Z do more of their shopping online than in-store.

However, the Deal Aid study found that 88.5% of Gen Z purchase food and groceries in-store while another 54.9% indicated that they purchase household items in-store.

Price (79.7%) and quality (65.5%) are the two most important factors that Gen Z consumers consider when making a purchase in-store. Other factors mentioned were positive reviews (22.1%), flexible return policy (23.9%) and rewards program (14.2%).

Popular in-store retailers included Walmart, Costco, and Target, while popular e-Retailers included Amazon, Kroger, and eBay.