Millennials Spending on Alcohol

Millennials spending on alcoholCatering to those between the ages of 21 and 35 can pay off. Millennials’ spending on alcohol in Massachusetts leads the nation. They rank second nationally in the amount they spend on coffee. While you might guess that Washington, famous for coffee, would rank first in that category, the neighbor to the north, Maine, ranked first in coffee shop purchases by Millennials.

This latest finding is the result of a study on personal finances by Level Money, “Young America and its Vices.” Colorado, New York, Wyoming, and Illinois round out the top five in the highest bar and liquor store expenditures per day. States with the lowest Millennial spending on alcohol include West Virginia, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Millennial Alcohol Preferences

According to Beverage Network’s Meet the Millennials,” this generation far outnumbers the previous Generation X (31 to 44 year olds) and rivals Baby Boomers (now 45 to 65 years old) in their total numbers. There are a lot of Millennials, and they typically seek out new tastes and are willing to pay a premium for those. Richard Hurst, Nielsen’s SVP of beverage alcohol, is quoted saying, “This generation is quite different, quite indulgent and quite ready to spend their money on something that represents discovery.”

Beer as a favorite for this generation has slipped more than ten percentage points (from 59 to 47 percent) in the last ten years. In its place, wine and spirits are increasing, and in the world of spirits, think brown. Whiskey is enjoying a revival.

What does this mean for your establishment? Stock your bar with brands that tap this generation, including premium products. Expect the Millennials walking into your bar or restaurant or making a purchase in your liquor store to ask for wine rather than beer and to be discerning about their choice.

Millennial Spending Priorities

Millennial Marketing (“Millennials Have Different Spending Priorities”) notes that a Bureau of Labor Statistics study regarding Millennial spending compared to the average after-tax income shows that they spend considerably more in two key categories that affect the hospitality industry: restaurants and alcohol.

In terms of food, this generation spends almost as much away from home as grocery purchases ($2,204 and $2,828, respectively). Compared to the average, Millennials spend 84 percent more on food away from home and 96 percent more on alcoholic beverages.

Whether you’re located in Massachusetts, boasting the highest Millennial spending on alcohol or not, you can improve your bottom line and keep these patrons returning by paying attention to what they want because studies show they are willing to pay for it.