Next on millennials’ hit list: Beer?

Posted On August 1, 2017

You may have read that millennials may be the death of chain restaurants. Or that their news consumption habits have made newspapers endangered species.

What are millennials killing next? Beer, apparently.

CNBC reported recently that millennials are drinking more wine and spirits and less beer. Goldman Sachs recently downgraded Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams, and Constellation Brands, which brews Corona and Modelo, amid reports of sluggish sales.

Business Insider, which has made a cottage industry of identifying industries that millennials are supposedly destroying, aggregated CNBC’s report with the headline: “Millennials are killing the beer industry.”

Nielsen panel data cited by CNBC show that beer sales penetration in the U.S. is at 25 percent in the year to date, as opposed to 26 percent in 2016.

That’s right – a 1 percent decline is supposedly “killing the industry.” Clickbait, anyone?

But there may be a reason for this decline, however mild it may be. Part of the reason sales at sit-down, casual dining chain restaurants are dropping, besides the advent of “fast-casual” chains, is the growth of home-delivery and grocery pick-up options.  Likewise, millennials may be drinking less beer because they go out less often.

Forbes noted that over 10,000 bars have shut down in the last decade in the U.S. due to declining clientele, as many millennials prefer doing their drinking at home. You can meet people or find a date online as easily as in a club these days. And a glass of Malbec may go better with Saturday Night Live in your PJs on the couch than a Bud Light.

But don’t worry – beer and bars will be just fine. The last time I went out for a drink, I could barely get to the bar for all the millennials packed up against it. The drink of choice for many of them? Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Your dad’s brew has become hipster cool again. Beer will survive. I’ll make sure of it.

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Categories: Advertising, Generation Y / Millennials