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Fast Food

Study says teens still love Starbucks, Chipotle not so much

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A customer reads a sign on the door of a Chipotle restaurant in Pittsburgh's Market Square, informing patrons that the restaurant will be closed for lunch and opening late due to an employee meeting on food safety, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP)

Findings from Piper Jaffray’s 2016 "Taking Stock With Teens Survey," which reports on teen spending habits, showed that Starbucks is still popular with 13 to 19 year old demo.

But Chipotle is losing the age group’s interest amid a wave of food safety scares.

6,500 teens were surveyed, and many of these consumers reported a decreased popularity and preference for Chipotle. In other words, teenagers still really like Chipotle, but not as much as they once did, reports Business Insider.

“While Chipotle remained the second most preferred brand among upper income teens and ties for top five among average income teens… it did cede share sequentially across both gender and geography categories,” analyst Nicole Miller Regan writes in the report. 

Business Insider also notes that teens are a key demographic for many food brands, as their spending habits can turn them into lifelong fans. The Mexican Grill is currently trying to win back trust among all consumers, but will it work?

While Chipotle had a predicted decrease in popularity, given the food-safety scares that plagued the company earlier this year, Starbucks is still the most preferred brand by “upper- and average-income teens.” 

The coffee chain was the top restaurant among teens, boasting a 14 percent market share among the individuals that were surveyed.

The study also showed that teens choose fast-casual over full-service restaurants, and states, “teens are choosing limited-service concepts at a 50 percent greater rate than full-service concepts.” Younger diners are flocking to eateries that can serve up food faster-- but they still want fresh options. 

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