Why Are Millennials Drinking Less—and What Does It Mean For Brands?

Drinking less is trending among young consumers. But why are they making moderation a growing movement, and what does it mean?

A moderation trend has been taking hold among young consumers, who are increasingly laying off booze. Take Dry January. A full 37% of 21-36-year-olds told us that they planned to participate in Dry January this year, an increase from 24% who planned to participate in 2018. Dry January, for the uninitiated, is the somewhat recent trend of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January to start the year off right, counteract overindulgence during the holidays, or prove that you don’t need to drink. Millennials are likely participating for a variety of reasons, and the trend is growing. Forbes reports that Dry January is genuinely impacting alcohol sales—with alcohol delivery app Drizly saying that their “data clearly pointed to Dry January being a genuine event,” with Millennials more likely to participate than older generations.

But Dry January is only one indication of Millennials’ moderation. Overall, the generation is reported to be drinking less than previous generations. In our nightlife and drinking survey, 16% of 21-36-year-olds told YPulse that they never drink alcoholic beverages, and 35% say they drink them less than weekly—that’s a full half of young consumers who are either drinking moderately or not at all. So what’s going on? Just as there are likely a variety of reasons that young consumers are participating in Dry January, there are many factors at play contributing to this Millennial moderation trend. A change in perception is one: 82% tell us that it’s not cool to drink too much, and even among those who do drink, 34% say they are trying to drink less. Drinking is just not as glamourous as it used to be—and food has become an important…


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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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