Explorers, adventurous, constantly craving the “new” – Millennials are often described as nomadic consumers always searching for the next exciting beverage experience. Since its members began coming into legal drinking age, this generation overall has demonstrated an unprecedented openness to new beverage trial and engagement with a wide range of drink types. In fact, according to the recently released Special Trends in Adult Beverage Report: Millennials, one-third (34%) of Millennials are classified as Explorers: they enjoy trying adult beverages with new or unique flavors, often go to establishments that specialize in a particular type of beverage and consider specialty, unique or limited-time-only drinks as a sign the establishment is serious about delivering a quality alcohol beverage experience.
Millennials are maturing, and not all are exhibiting that insatiable thirst for the new, however. In fact, nearly half of Millennials (45%) are Loyalists, according to the report. These Millennials tend to drink the same type of alcohol beverage for all their adult-beverage occasions, typically visit establishments that offer their preferred type or brand and purchase the same types of alcohol beverages for at-home enjoyment that they do when ordering a drink on-premise. It’s notable that Millennials overall exhibit a stronger connection between on- and off-premise purchases than any other generation.
Every generation evolves as it matures, and Millennials are no exception. The size and inherent diversity within the generation only adds to the challenge of anticipating and satisfying these consumers. Even as the adult beverage industry’s attention is now beginning to focus intently on the next generation – Gen Z – understanding Millennials’ preferences and behaviors is crucial to achieving restaurant beverage program growth.