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April 20, 2017 10:02 PM

Teens Fork Over More For Food

Many teen fashion retailers are struggling because of the increase in online shopping.
The same can't be said for restaurants.  New research shows teens are forking over more money than ever before on food.

Whether they're hanging out with friends or family, teenagers eat out more than ever before.

"Eating food is the only thing I spend money on besides gas," Rudy Lawler said.

The Spring 2017 Taking Stock with Teens survey found that teens now spend 24 percent of all their available money on food, up from just 18 percent two years ago.

The number one reason--taste.

"It's nice to eat good food," Lawler said.

"I think that since Sioux Falls and Brandon are developing more; there's more options," Kiara Valentien said.

Also on the menu for reasons why teens are eating out more--convenience.

"It's way easier than just cooking up a meal yourself," Dylan Kipp said.

That may be one of the reasons why teens also prefer quick-service or fast-casual locations to sit-down restaurants. A decade ago sit-down locations accounted for 53 percent of the restaurant industry. It's now flip-flopped. Fast-food restaurants account for 53 percent of the market.

"As a teenager, I just want to get out of the house a lot more," Kipp said.

Teens also differ from adults in when they eat out. They're much more likely to go to a restaurant for dinner than lunch or breakfast. Analysts say that's because they use it as a form of entertainment.  It goes to show that teenagers still enjoy face-to-face conversation despite this digital age.

In the survey teens also ranked their favorite brands.

Nike was rated the top clothing brand, followed by American Eagle and Forever 21.
Adidas and Patagonia are also gaining ground in the teen market.

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