A variety of studies suggest millennials are reshaping the U.S. alcohol industry as we know it.
The U.S. alcohol industry is in a shift thanks to millennials.
A variety of surveys and industry analyses found millennials are consuming less booze than previous generations, but their ditching beer in favor of wines and spirits. Other reports found that the generation is moving away from beer to other types of alcohol while others lean towards cannabis.
Writing in Forbes, millennial trends analyst Jules Schroeder dubs her peers “Generation Sober,” pointing to a generation of health-conscious workaholics who prefer authentic human interaction and natural highs over boozy dance parties and hedonism.
“Sober dance parties… are becoming the new rage, inviting guests to ‘DOSE’ on all-natural chemicals like Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins before heading out for a work day,” she writes.
Other studies suggest that millennials are consuming just as much alcohol as older generations, but in greater moderation and with a more diverse palate.
More booze, but with variety
Digitally wired and connected from childhood, millennials —the sizable cohort born between 1981 and 1997, now estimated at 75.4 million Americans— are evolving, and as they are set up to be the dominant workforce in 2030, industries must adapt to the changing environment and demands.
This generation has switched to cannabis and cannabidiol, also known as CBD, a chemical component of marijuana that’s legal and doesn’t intoxicate users, as this results in a cheaper, far-less dangerous intake than alcohol. According to Marketwatch, a frequent cannabis user in Chicago has said: “I definitely enjoy weed better. It’s more relaxing, I don’t have to worry about how I acted the night before, and don’t have to deal with hangovers or throwing up the morning after”.
Here are the key findings of findings from surveys and indexes.
A Collage Group survey found that millennials today drink more liquor than their predecessors did at their age. It reported: “Emerging millennials also show greater interest in wine at an earlier age, and to a broader variety of subtypes of alcohol.”
In 2017, Goldman Sachs downgraded both the Boston Beer Company and the Constellation Brand after finding data that suggests millennials tend to prefer wine and spirits. As this trend continues, Budweiser fell out of the top-selling beers in the U.S., and for some, millennials are to blame.
Ahead of marijuana legalization in California, the cannabis company OutCo and Monocle Research reported that 51% of the millennials they surveyed preferred marijuana over alcohol and tobacco, especially among the 21-to-25 age group, or younger millennials.
PR Newswire revealed that the smoking rate for 18-29-year-olds in the U.S. has dropped by 22% over the past decade, leaving alcohol as the substance of choice.
We are already seeing a decrease in alcohol sales, and that means cannabis has an open road to become the new recreational substance of choice for many millennials and future generations.