Millennial Evolution

MillennialsThe interesting thing about Millennials – that generation we’ve all been talking about lately – is that they, like the rest of us, are getting older. As they age, their careers are progressing, their earning power is increasing and they’re getting married, buying homes, having children and, in many cases, starting to take on the role of caregiver for their own aging parents. So what does the older Millennial (age 25-34) mean to the on-premise adult beverage business? Well, consider that in recent surveys they overindex on numerous behaviors, not only as compared with older generational cohorts, but also younger Millennials, including:

·         Understanding of beer styles and flavor profiles

·         Desire for a variety of beer selections in restaurants and bars

·         Spending on beer per occasion

·         Likelihood of ordering wine, especially sparkling wine and Champagne in restaurants and bars

·         Increased knowledge of spirits

At the same time, older Millennials are more likely than other generations to:

·         Drink at home more often or cut back on ordering drinks on-premise to save money

·         Look for the same brands on-premise as they stock at home and likelihood of looking for a brand at retail after having tried it in a restaurant or bar

This dichotomy – a consumer group highly engaged with adult beverage on-premise yet looking to control spending – presents both a challenge and an opportunity for restaurant beverage professionals. Delivering value through the adult beverage offering in the form of intriguing selection, the opportunity to explore and learn and enjoy value through attractive pricing on quality products can differentiate a restaurant concept. As the rest of the Millennial generation ages and enters the more settled stage of life – where the desire for quality experiences can butt up against the need to  spend wisely – savvy beverage pros will be able to engage and thereby drive traffic, sales and revenue. 

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