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Millennials are show-offs when buying spirits

Millennials “like showing off” when it comes to spirits but brand loyalty remains high among this demographic, according to new market research.

Millennial Alcohol Consumption Spirits
Millennials are demonstrating brand loyalty when it comes to spirits

The report by Havas Media Group and Evolve Media, titled Behind the Bottle: An Exploration of Trends in the Spirits Category, was designed to study trends in spirits consumption and better understand the relationship between consumer behaviour and brand adoption.

It also explored seasonal gifting habits, how media influences purchasing and consumption choices, and the role of digital media in driving consideration.

“Consumers are passionate about their spirits,” said Brian Fitzgerald, president and co-founder of Evolve Media. “The high degree of brand preference in the spirits category may pose a challenge to increasing market share – but the payoff is worth it.

“According to the study, knowledge of spirits is becoming social currency among millennials and they will order name brands to impress their peers.

“We also found that what brand someone decides to buy depends strongly on what they’re doing, who they’re with and where they’re drinking.”

Highlights from the study suggest word of mouth is an influential touchpoint to gather ideas and recommendations of what spirits to buy, with 59% of those questioned admitting it influenced their purchasing decisions.

In the on-trade, 78% said they had a brand preference for Scotch whisky and Bourbon compared to 22% who were “brand agnostic”. At home, Tequila had the most loyal drinkers with nearly nine out of 10 respondents confessing they have a brand preference.

A total of 28% of millennials said they ordered a premium brand to impress their peers, compared to 20% of generation Y and just 11% of baby boomers.

Spirits buying was also influenced by location and occasion, and millennials were deemed more likely to spend more money on a bottle of spirits intended as a gift than for themselves.

“While brand preference and loyalty is strong, consumers – particularly millennials – indicate they like to experiment with new cocktails, so there’s significant opportunity for marketers to smartly connect their brands with customers and prospects in these moments of receptivity,” added Peter Sedlarcik, executive vice president, business insights and intelligence, Havas Media.

“A consumer-centric media strategy built on a solid foundation of digital channels and social platforms that allow brands to engage consumers, tell their brand story and ignite conversation is what success looks like.”

The data was collated from an online survey and in-depth interviews of 1,605 adults aged 21 and over in December 2015.

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