Alcohol Beverage Marketers Target Millennials

As more millennials reach the legal age to purchase beer, wine and spirits, producers must determine which products should be marketed to the group. These consumers are at an age where they’re likely forming long-​term preferences. Beverage marketers who earn a customer now can look forward to a long and profitable association.

Nielsen just published the results of its 7,000 person survey on this topic. Respondents were all between the ages of 21 and 34 and comprise part of the group that will account for 40% of legal-​age drinkers in the next decade. The millennials indicated the following attitudes about alcohol beverages:

  • Quality is equated with cost.
  • As the recession fades, this group is more likely to purchase expensive brands than other age groups.
  • Millennials are happy to try new products, especially those perceived as benefiting local companies.
  • This group plans ahead for purchases of alcohol beverages, giving marketers a chance to reach them with new campaigns.

For now, most millennials are likely to purchase beer. But when compared to the habits of older generations at earlier ages, millennials are drinking more wine and spirits.  This may be good news for wine marketers. A new Wall Street Journal report indicates that consumers are buying more wine, primarily in the mid-​market range of $9-$12 a bottle – a price that may appeal to the millennial budget.

Writing for Nielsen, Brager and Greco note the importance of marketing to younger consumers. “Leveraging social media will be a critical marketing strategy for alcohol beverage companies to communicate with Millennial consumers and make their brands relevant with this generation.”

[Sources: Brager, Danny and Greco, Jim. Millennials Redefine the Alcohol Beverage Landscape. Nielsenwire​.com. 11 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2011 Kesmodel, David. Snooty? Not Today’s Wine Drinkers. Online. WSJ​.com. 20 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.