Millennials are already driving key trends in the alcoholic beverages sector, and their influence will continue as all in this demographic cohort come of legal drinking age by 2018, according to a new Trends in Adult Beverage Report from food and beverage industry research/consulting firm Technomic.
Americans born between 1977 and 1992 are not only the largest generation since the Baby Boomers; they’re also frequent consumers of alcoholic beverages.
Technomic’s recent survey of a nationally representative sample of legal-age Millennials found that 8 in 10 had consumed an alcoholic beverage in a bar, restaurant or other on-premise venue in the past week, and 9 in 10 had consumed one at home.
This diverse and highly educated generation is open to new experiences, and its members are more likely to try a new drink -- both in and out of the home -- than those of any other age group.
They consume domestic light beers, hard ciders, cocktails, red-blend wines and Moscato wines more often than older consumers, and are the key force behind trends including craft beer, boutique spirits and sweeter-flavor wine profiles.
Technomic also found that half of Millennials consider variety and price to be much more or somewhat more important in away-from-home, as opposed to for-home, alcohol purchases.
However, Millennials are far from a homogenous group. For example, younger Millennials are more price-conscious than older ones.
For this reason, alcoholic beverage marketers and restaurant operators need to take strategic approaches based on Millennial segments’ attitudes and behaviors regarding alcoholic-beverage occasions and consumption, cautions David Henkes, VP at Technomic and leader of its adult beverage practice.