Home » sin stocks » Are Millennials To Blame For Beer Sales Sliding?

In my day, it was the young people who seemed to fuel beer sales. Our tailgate parties. Our frat parties. Our weekend parties. Our weeknight parties. You could always count on a healthy beer flow. Heck, I have GREAT stories to tell of laying on the floor while someone opened the tap on a keg. haha! Yes, those were hilarious times.

And obviously my immediate friends and the many others like us (as well as the “All American Joe Six Pack” beer-drinker-type… well, we bought beer in big thirsty gulps.

And all that beer buying led to, obviously, higher beer sales… higher beer company revenues… stronger beer companies… and healthy beer stock prices.

But now?

Today’s youth don’t seem to prefer beer with their avocado toast, flamboyant mustaches and tight pants.

Molson (TAP), Heineken (HEINY), and Budweiser (BUD), just to name 3 companies, saw declines. You can read about that latest report (published in Business Insider) but we’ve reported on this Millennial beer crisis 6 months ago (hope you were paying attention then!)

What’s driving this? There are a few things, socially: Ultimately we believe it’s a cyclical rejection by young people of the things that their parents stood for. Chief among this choice is the anti-big-brand approach to purchases. With the exception of Millennial-approved brands like Apple (which we’ve asserted in the past that maybe Apple IS a sin stock!), Millennials hate massed produced big brands and tend to prefer crafted products. Of course Bud and their kind are exactly the opposite of the craft brewing approach.

Beer companies are left with a few choices:

Some are moving into alcohol-free beer options…

Some are getting into craft beer…

Some are merging to get a competitive advantage of scale and produce lines and markets…

Some are investing in pot companies for a complementary product line…

What does this mean for beer companies?

That’s a tough call.

They have money. And time. Problem is, they’re getting tapped out of marketshare, they can’t easily merge anything else, craft beer isn’t the headline story it once was just a couple years ago, and their main beer-drinking clientele are switching to lighter beers or craft beers.

That said, I don’t think beer is finished. They’ll unlock it.

And consider this: markets are cyclical. Millennials are rejecting the big brands of their parents… kind of like what the hippies did in the 60’s and 70’s. Then what happened? The Reagan years came along and the Alex P. Keatons of the the 80’s rejected their hippie parent’s lifestyle and bought in big-time into big brands. Well we’ve seen that story play out again and again. Today the Millennials are rejecting big brands. According to the Business Insider article, Gen-Z is also rejecting beers too… but what about the generation after Gen-Z?

Don’t count beer out yet.


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