April 21, 2021, 3:46 p.m. EDT

The spending life of U.S. teens: Chick-fil-A, Nike and bitcoin

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By Weston Blasi

American teens are spending their money on chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, athletic gear from Nike /zigman2/quotes/203439053/composite NKE +2.00% and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD -2.18% .

The investment firm Piper Sandler /zigman2/quotes/210127561/composite PIPR +0.57% released a semi-annual research project detailing the spending and usage habits of teenagers with an average age of 16.1 years old.

Chick-fil-A dominated their food rankings as 18% of the 7,000 surveyed said their favorite restaurant was Chick-fil-A. Coming in at No. 2 was Starbucks /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX +1.79% at 12%, then Chipotle /zigman2/quotes/200781108/composite CMG +3.73% at 11%. Legacy food brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s /zigman2/quotes/203508018/composite MCD +1.14% were further down the list.

When it comes to clothing, Nike is the overwhelming favorite among American teenagers as 27% of respondents said the swoosh was their top clothing apparel brand. No other brand reached even 10%.

When it comes to online shopping, Amazon /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +1.87% was the top shopping website for 56% of respondents, while the next brand, Shein, was the favorite of only 7% of the teens surveyed.

One interesting aspect of the survey is how active teenagers are in cryptocurrency.

Among those surveyed, 9% of teens claim to have traded cryptocurrency — and 81% of those teens identify as male.

Lisa Kramer, a professor of finance at the University of Toronto and an expert in investor behavior, speculated that the gender split in crypto trading may be related to “overconfidence ” for male investors.

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