If you haven’t heard, millennials are taking over the world. Projected to have the highest spending power of any generation, adult Americans between 21 and 34 have money and prepared to spend it, primarily on food and beverages. According to Technomic’s Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB), half of millennials prioritize a variety in spirits and cocktail offerings when in restaurants.
Long gone are the days of the beer-drinking college student. Analysts report that, “beer consumption trends remain weak.” And if they are drinking beer, it’s not Budweiser. In fact 44% of drinkers aged 21 to 27 said they had never tried the brand.
According to studies by ad agency J Walter Thompson,”Cocktail classics of yesteryear…are being reinvented with a gourmet twist, unapologetically celebrating the synthetic hues of retro ingredients such as crème de menthe and blue curaçao. Mixed drink trends include frozen, draft, and savory cocktails.
The setting we drink in has also changed. With campaigns such as Equinox’s After Dark events, your local gym quickly transforms into your local bar. Yogis can also enjoy a sip through events such as Yoga BonBonniere.
For millennials on a budget (which are most of us), the home bar has become an equivalent status symbol of our changing drinking tastes. Whether we invest in buying mixology-themed bottles of Hendrick’s gin or Bulleit Bourbon, pre-mixed cocktails such as LIQS cocktail shots, or craft our own concoctions, we are happily bringing the bar into our bedrooms.
Industry experts suspect that this new trend is due to (what else?) television. Shows like Mad Men, Sex and the City, Boardwalk Empire, and Billions have brought the glamour of the cocktail back.
Perhaps more likely is millennial’s keen interest in authenticity. Only about 1% of millennials claim that a compelling ad influences them. We want a unique experience, void of pre-packaged commercialism. The cocktail is a genuine marker of tradition and class. Research shows that young consumers are placing more emphasis on drinks as a reflection of their personal identity.
If you are what you eat, millennials want to be what they drink. The cocktail is an authentic alcoholic beverage that can be creative, intense, fun, and sophisticated. So drink up my friends. Here’s to good taste.