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Turning 21 is a major milestone for young adults in the U.S. As we kick of 2018, and the youngest millennials have turned 21, it seems like an appropriate time for us to explore millennial alcohol consumption.
As part of our latest study, we help brands to uncover insights on emerging millennials’ drinking patterns and perceptions. We also examine major trends in the alcohol industry today, and look at what role millennials play in shaping them. Finally, we’ll dive into how occasions, brands, and peer influences are fundamentally important for the alcohol category.
The Changing Alcohol Landscape
Despite narratives to the contrary, there is similar alcohol penetration among millennials to older cohorts when they were emerging adults. One big difference is that millennials today drink more liquor than their predecessors did at their age. Emerging millennials also show greater interest in wine at an earlier age, and to a broader variety of subtypes of alcohol.
Millennials crave diversity in their alcohol choices. Age effects, like being new to legal drinking, play a significant role in this. This builds on the generational effect of drinking wine and whiskey earlier or “older tastebuds”.
Although millennials are more interested in craft beers than consumers of their age have been in the past, they’re often drinkers of both craft beer and other types of beer.
Millennials are more likely to associate alcohol with social occasions. They also drink in a wide variety of spaces, and drink different alcohol types depending on venue.
Young millennials are self-conscious, and are aware of what their peers are drinking. Additionally, strong visuals drive trial and are instrumental to brand choice, especially for the wine category.