When Boomers Buy Alcohol, They Typically Have A Specific Brand in Mind

While roughly three-quarters of Boomers (76%) and Millennials (73%) plan their alcohol purchases ahead of time, some 18% of Boomers (vs. 11% of Millennials) buy impulsively and 16% of Millennials (vs. 7% of Boomers) say they’re reminded while shopping in stores, according to data released by Nielsen. More than half of Baby Boomers (52%) say they have a specific brand in mind when making a shopping trip, compared to only one-quarter of Millennials.

On the other hand, the majority of Millennials (61%) don’t look for any particular brand of alcoholic beverages when planning their purchase, while only 34% of Boomers say the same. A small proportion of Boomers (14%) and Millennials (15%) report having a few brands in mind when planning alcoholic beverage purchases. This suggests that alcohol brands have a key opportunity to influence younger buyers while they’re in store. Of course, research has also found that across retail categories, brands in the “initial consideration set” are twice as likely to be ultimately purchased as brands considered later in the purchase journey…

Meanwhile, according to a related study on alcoholic beverage consumption, beer is the alcoholic drink of choice for Americans, despite the fact that beer consumption has decreased over the last 2 decades, especially among Millennials. Meanwhile, the share of young drinkers who prefer wine and liquor have gone up in the same time frame.

While Millennials may not have a tendency to be partial to a particular brand of alcoholic drinks, they do display this tendency more when buying champagne than wine. Generational differences again come into play when examining how consumers decide which brands of champagne to buy. Boomers (71%) are much more likely than Millennials (43%) to choose based on previous use (71%), whereas Millennials are much more likely than Boomers to select a champagne brand by word of mouth (31% and 11%, respectively).

That last result adds to a body of research indicating that word-of-mouth has more of an influence on younger than older consumers.

For more on purchase influencers (including word-of-mouth), see the MarketingCharts’ 3rd Annual “Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers” study.