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Attracting Millennial Shoppers Posted on Wednesday, September 28 in Reaching The Right Audience.

By the end of the year, every Millennial will be of legal drinking age. That’s significant when you consider that Millennials have surpassed the Baby Boomers as America’s largest living generation. And the good news for liquor store owners is that this demographic is also the largest market for beer, wine, and spirits in U.S. history.

Cater to their flavor

Younger adults often find beer, wine, or spirits to be an acquired taste, and turn to flavored products when they begin drinking. While it started with Vodka, the trend flowed into beer and then into whiskey, where flavors like cinnamon and honey have driven growth and drawn younger drinkers. Though flavored vodkas appear to have peaked, look for flavored offerings to continue to spread to other spirits. Longtime drinkers may dismiss them as kids’ stuff, but flavored products will likely prove essential to winning younger customers.

A staff that knows its stuff

As younger consumers mature into more sophisticated fare, they’ll need guidance. Today, a friendly, knowledgeable staff is essential to success. As the breadth and depth of products continues to expand, customers look to you and your employees for direction. Helping choose the perfect bottle of wine for a family gathering or a special bourbon for holiday gift-giving is a great way to win them over.

Keep quality at the forefront

While many young adults like—or start out liking—flavored products, older Millennials are attracted to craft beers, quality whiskies, and artisan spirits. They want to know the stories behind these products as well. Not surprising, since taste, complexity, and origin stories have driven the wine industry for centuries. Here again, a knowledgeable staff is vital. Directing Millennials to higher-quality, higher-margin products is a win-win for your customers and your business.

Wine, women, and sales

Over 36% of wine drinkers are Millennials, and women account for 83% of all consumer wine purchases. They’re buying an ever-widening variety of products, from boxed wines to pricey bottlings. Welcoming women of all ages and providing snobbery-free advice is an absolute must.

Be sociable

Drinking is a social activity, and social media is a great place to promote your business. Engaging customers with online content like cocktail recipes, wine and food pairing tips, and gift guidance is an ideal way to raise your store’s profile. The same goes for in-store events like wine and whiskey tastings and guest speakers.

We can help!

If you need help targeting the right audience to grow your business—Millennials or otherwise—we can help. We’re the area’s most powerful media and marketing organization with all the tools you need to reach your best prospects. Contact us online or call 334.262.1611.

Sources:

Beaudette, John, “Overview of the U.S. Beverage Alcohol Market, Trends & Market Entry Conditions,” MHW, Ltd., Presentation, Beverage Alcohol Community Symposium, November, 2015.

Fry, Richard, “Millennials Take Over Baby Boomers as Largest Generation,” Pew Research Center, pewresearch.org, April 25, 2016.

Maker, Meg Houston, “Training Matters: 8 Effective Strategies for Efficient, Effective Staff Education,” Beverage Media Group, beveragemedia.com, October 30, 2013.

Shapiro, Arthur, “The State of the Spirits Business,” Booze Business, boozebusiness.com, February 12, 2015.

Swartz, Kyle, “Nine Trends Driving Wine Sales in 2016,” Beverage Dynamics, beveragedynamics.com, January 26, 2016.

Swartz, Kyle, “Seven Trends Shaping the Alcohol Industry in 2016-2017,” Beverage Dynamics, beveragedynamics.com, August 29, 2016.

Taylor, Kate, “America’s Shifting Drinking Habits Could Change Happy Hour as We Know It,” Business Insider, May 3, 2016.

Taylor, Kate, “The Liquor Industry Is Experiencing Three Seismic Changes,” Business Insider, February 26, 2016.

Zekaria, Simon, “Spirits Soar on Flavored Liquors,” The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2013.

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