According to a new analysis from market research firm IBIS World, those born between 1982 and 1995 (currently aged 17 to 30) – known as the Millennial generation, or Generation Y – make up about 20% of the US population, numbering about 65 million. The market researcher says that about 72% of this group drinks alcoholic beverages, and about one in five of those (22%) prefer wine.
“While other generations came to enjoy wine at an older age, Millennials have developed a taste for wine at an earlier age. This trend is boosting revenue for wineries,” the market researcher said. “…As their incomes grow (and their penchant for wine refines) with age, Gen Y consumers will likely spend more on alcoholic beverages in general. This increased spending power is fueling a surge in advertising that is geared specifically toward Millenials.”
Brand marketers are also aware that Millennials use the internet for entertainment, communication and information far more than any other demographic. As a result social networks are “critical marketing tools” for brands targeting Millennials.
“Popular brands like Budweiser and Captain Morgan are spending a growing proportion of their marketing budgets on reaching out to Millennials via social media platforms,” wrote IBIS World lead industry analystAgata Kaczanowska. “Humorous, viral video-inspired ad campaigns have become a necessity for targeting this young group of drinkers, though overall strategies still include commercials during key sporting events and roadside billboards. By capturing Millenials’ attention in their comfort zone, successful firms have found the key to exposing their brands to a highly receptive audience.”
She added that online sales have also become important for alcoholic beverage producers, and Millennials are likely to drive internet sales across the sector.
Premium beers are also likely to see a boost from increasing numbers of younger drinkers, according to the report, because this group is generally keen to try new flavors and seek out quality beverages.