The Millennial-ization of premium spirits

Michael Baer takes us through Millennial and iGen trends in luxury beverages. His vice: Manhattans, perfect and up.

The Millennial-ization of premium spirits

The author(s)

  • Michael Baer SVP, Head of Audience Measurement, US
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Millennials are driving change in every category, and alcohol/ spirits is no exception. And the differences in their behaviors and preferences suggest big changes for the future of luxury and premium spirits marketing.

Millennials, in general, buy and spend more on all types of liquor, especially top shelf brands. They typically pay more for a bottle of spirits than any other generation. That’s surprising, as they have lower incomes and net worth than older generations and are likely still identifying their liquor preferences.

This behavior suggests that pricing and new offerings for spirits will move northward—and possibly leave some current premium entrants looking more mainstream.

Problematically, Millennials care a lot less about “brand” than any other generation, according to the Ipsos Affluent Intelligence study, which is the longest running continuously fielded survey measuring attitudes and behaviors of high income shoppers.

Across categories, Ipsos has seen this hunger for the new and different by these shoppers. As such, packaging and labeling can go a long way toward sparking their interest, as Millennials report that they consider the label as much as they do the liquid in the bottle.

Perhaps most surprising, they give little consideration to whether they’ve enjoyed the product before. Instead, the promise of the new, the exciting and the higher end outweighs the guarantee of prior satisfaction. The challenge for manufacturers will be to convey this promise without turning away long term brand users.

This article was originally published in What the Future, a quarterly deep dive into different aspects of consumer and social thought and behavior. Each edition features exclusive new data from world-leading research firm Ipsos. WTF explores how a single industry or behavior fits into the broader culture now and in the coming decades.

Chart: What do you consider when purchasing premium (any liquor)?

The author(s)

  • Michael Baer SVP, Head of Audience Measurement, US

Media & Brand Communication