Food, wine and beer festivals satisfy millennials’ highly experiential nature, according to a study from Eventbrite.
The study, “Millennials and the New Era of Food, Wine & Beer Festivals,” offers insights for food purveyors, wineries and breweries seeking to capitalize on a fundamental industry shift toward events that are catering specifically to the interests of the largest generation.
Eventbrite, which experienced a 47% year-over-year increase in food and beverage events from 2013-2014, surveyed more than 5,000 millennial attendees of food, wine, or beer festivals ticketed on the platform during 2014.
These events are a goldmine for marketing messages, says Christine Bohle, head of consumer partnerships for Eventbrite.
“Nothing brings millennials together better than the chance to bond over a glass of beer or wine, or share delicious food,” Bohle tells Marketing Daily. “Events are at the center of these experiences and millennial social life, so investing in this channel is important to the continued growth across the food and beverage industry.”
The research shows that when millennials find something they like, they will not only proactively recommend it, but also make the effort to go out and purchase food, wine and beer they tasted at a festival in the future, she says.
“That’s an incredibly powerful insight that demonstrates the important role of events in an organization's marketing mix,” Bohle adds.
Contrary to many opinions in the industry, big festivals are still the biggest draw across all consumer audiences and particularly for millennials.
“However, wineries, breweries and food purveyors should consider ways to create unique and exclusive experiences even within those larger events, and our research shows that millennials are willing to pay for it,” she adds.
Ticket price tops their list of considerations when choosing to attend festivals and they are willing to pay more for a great experience: Around half of millennials are willing to spend $36-50 per ticket to a food and beverage festival with only 3% opting to attend an event because it is free.
Forty percent agree that they are willing to pay an additional fee for an exclusive experience at a festival, such as VIP tent access or opportunity to meet the food purveyors, winemakers or brewers behind the event.
Millennials are more likely to purchase a product they have tried at a food or beverage festival and more than half say they are likely to stock up on food, wine, or a beer they loved at the festival if it’s sold onsite.
The impact on purchasing behavior lasts well beyond the event: 60% of millennials say they will buy a food or wine they loved at a local retailer or restaurant after the festival, and 82% say they will frequently or always buy a beer they loved at a local retailer.