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Millennials shaping latest beverage trends

Millennials shaping latest beverage trends

Young adults are driving demand for craft beer, boutique spirits and more.

We can thank the millennial generation for some of the hottest trends in adult beverages, according to the research firm Technomic. They’re behind the boom in craft beers, boutique spirits and sweeter flavor profiles in wine, among other things.

The company’s “Special TAB (Trends in Adult Beverage) Report: Millennial Consumer Insights,” which summarizes findings from a proprietary survey of legal-age millennial consumers, found that as they mature, members of this group wield a great deal of influence at the bar. Among Technomic's findings:

• Millennials are frequent consumers of adult beverages — 8 in 10 consumed an alcoholic beverage in a bar, restaurant or other on-premise venue in the past week and 9 in 10 had consumed at home.

• This population group is open to new experiences, and its members are more likely to try a new drink than those of any other age group in both on-premise and off-premise locations.

• Millennials consume domestic light beer, hard ciders, cocktails, red blend wines and Moscato wines more often than older consumers.

• Younger millennials are more price-conscious than older millennials.

• Price and variety are considered much more or somewhat more important for away-from-home adult beverage purchases than for at-home purchases by half of millennials surveyed.

“Millennials are absolutely driving some of the biggest trends in adult beverage, and will continue to do so for the next few years,” says David Henkes, v.p. at Technomic and leader of its adult beverage practice.

“We do see, however, that this is not a homogenous group; due to its sheer size and inherent diversity, beverage professionals from suppliers and marketers to retailers and restaurateurs must be very strategic in engaging millennials in terms of adult beverage occasions and consumption.”

Technomic’s findings jibe with an earlier survey of millennials’ drinking habits done by Nielsen. That study concluded, among other things, that this age group likes to experiment, equates premium prices with premium quality and tends to buy locally crafted beverages as a way to support the local economy.

Technomic’s report examines purchasing habits including location, frequency, spend and type of adult beverage, as well as at-home and away-from-home category preferences. The report is based on a survey of 2000 consumers and is part of the Technomic adult beverage database and its Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) report series.

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