Only 11% of millennials had bought alcohol on impulse in the previous 30 days, compared to 18% of baby boomers, the report found. About three-quarters of both groups — 76% of millennials and 73% of baby boomers — said they planned to buy alcohol before going to the store.
Baby boomers tend to have more experience with alcoholic beverages and they draw on that experience to decide which brands they wish to buy before they shop. More than half (52%) know which brand they intend to buy in advance, compared to just 24% of millennials.
Millennials' weaker sense of brand loyalty, at least in relation to alcoholic beverages, poses a prime opportunity for manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to influence undecided shoppers.
When it comes to beer, this may involve in-store promotions, advertising campaigns to raise awareness of brands, or eye-catching label design.
Meanwhile, seven in ten (71%) baby boomers use previous experiences to inform their wine purchases, compared to just 43% of millennials. Marketers may want to take a different approach to wine promotion. There is still plenty of room to appeal to younger shoppers, but for millennials and boomers alike, there is also an opportunity to highlight particular flavors and varieties that might engage those looking for a level of familiarity.
As millennials continue to drive innovation in the food and beverage sector, it is important to note that they also tend to be slightly heavier drinkers than older consumers, creating more potential marketing occasions. Beverage manufacturers should also bear in mind greater interest in lower calorie alcoholic beverages, particularly among health-conscious millennial consumers. According to a recent survey paid for by Boston Beer, 47% of Americans aged 21 or older think there are too few low-calorie alcoholic beverage options.
It's also important for beverage manufacturers to focus on older consumers from the boomer generation. As this research shows, there is opportunity to drive sales by positioning products as potential impulse buys for this demographic. Beverage makers should take the time to learn about the tastes and interests of these consumers, as focusing solely on millennials could be a missed opportunity.