5 Things Millennials Have Been Accused Of Killing This Year

Millennials' spending power is growing, but as we know they aren't necessarily spending on what previous generations did. Today we're looking at five big things that Millennial consumers have been accused of starting to kill off in 2014...and what we really think about it.

Disruption really should be the word of 2014. This year, the focus was on industries being reimagined and reworked—and the young consumers flocking to innovation and leaving tradition in the dust. The auto and housing industries have had Millennial consumers as the demographic to blame for their struggle for some time now (even Millennials with high incomes are more interested in spending money on experiences than purchasing the McMansions their parents did). But as the generation ages into their peak spending power years, their shifting tastes and behaviors are being blamed for threatening to kill off, or at least maim, plenty of other industries, brands, and products. We’ve reached the point where this generation isn’t just influencing other consumers and impacting a few industries—they have the power to truly bring businesses to their knees, and the speculation about who’s at risk was running wild in 2014. Here are five things that Millennials were accused of threatening or beginning to kill off this year: 

1. Big Box Stores

In March, Time reported that bulk-buying haven Costco was “Facing a Looming, Bulk-Sized Problem” as Millennials age into their demographic. The generation that has fewer cars and prefers urban living isn’t as likely to buy the amount of products that require a vehicle to transport and plenty of storage space, and Costco reportedly wasn’t planning any dramatic changes to lure younger consumers. Millennials don’t just lack space, they also have a different approach to buying food than…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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