Millennial consumers of legal drinking age are spending more on alcohol in restaurants and bars than any other generation and simultaneously influencing today’s drink trends, according to a new report from Technomic.
The “Special Trends in Adult Beverage” report focuses on Millennial consumer insights, finding that eight in 10 Millennials consume an alcoholic beverage away from home on a weekly basis.
“They have tremendous spending power, they do like to dine out, they do like to go out, and you’re really missing the boat if you’re not courting them,” says Donna Hood Crecca, senior director of the Adult Beverage Resource Group at Technomic.
Overall, Millennials are open to new experiences and are more sophisticated in their beverage selections than previous generations, Crecca explains. They are drinking wine at a much earlier age, immersing themselves in different categories of spirits, and driving the trend toward sweeter flavor profiles.
Specifically, Millennials order domestic light beer, hard ciders, cocktails, red blend wines, and Moscato wines more often than older consumers, according to the report.
Despite the similarities, a dichotomy exists between the older and younger Millennial subsets, and it is important that operators recognize who is walking in their doors and accordingly tailor their product offerings, Crecca says.
Younger Millennials often go out in groups and will patronize a venue that offers a party-like atmosphere. They are also more price-conscious than older Millennials. Crecca suggests restaurants and bars offer sparkling Moscatos and sweet, flavored vodkas to support the younger Millennial generation.
On the other hand, “if you’ve got older Millennials coming in, they want to have a couple of drinks quietly with friends and hang out,” Crecca says.
“Maybe you want to look into a nice selection of whiskeys or some tequilas or something like that. Dive into a category that you think will appeal to them and give them a chance to explore it.”
Meanwhile, a spirit that is organic, philanthropic, or has an intriguing story appeals to the value-conscious characteristic of Millennials, Crecca says.
“If you can offer a signature cocktail that has a local, organic vodka in it and you can talk about that on your menu or have your servers talk about it, that ties in to the things that really speak to this generation,” Crecca says.
By Sonya Chudgar