Close Menu

Gen Z favours moderation, RTDs and Tequila

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has released a report outlining three key ways Gen Z could impact the drinks industry.

gen z drinkers
IWSR has highlighted ways that spirits brands can appeal to Gen Z drinkers

The data firm believes that the new generation of drinkers will see moderation as a ‘default setting’, citing data that found 75% of Gen Z consumers (defined by IWSR as those currently aged 21-26) moderate their alcohol consumption, compared with 64% of all consumers in 10 key markets.

It also noted a rising interest in no-and-low products from this generation.

“The popularity of no/low for Gen Z of legal drinking age (LDA) is partly dictated by the need state of wanting to remain in control, as well as heightened concerns over health and wellness,” said Susie Goldspink, head of no- and low-alcohol insights, IWSR.

“LDA Gen Z consumers are also more aware of the existence of no- and low-beverages, thanks to their greater presence in social media, in the on-premise, at social events and via word of mouth.”

As well as moderation, the firm highlighted an interest in experimentation from Gen Z, saying that the demographic is particularly keen to explore non-traditional categories including ready-to-drink (RTD) products.

There’s also growing interest in agave spirits, with Tequila being named the favourite RTD base for 60% of Gen Z consumers in the US, compared with 41% of all RTD drinkers in the US.

“This is partly due to the classic generational urge to do something different from your parents,” explained Richard Halstead, chief operations officer, consumer research.

“That might mean trendy craft beer, RTDs, innovative cocktails that didn’t exist, or had been forgotten, a generation ago – or categories that were deeply unfashionable in the past, such as spirit apéritifs.

“It’s important to add that young people are inherently quite conservative when it comes to beverages, in that they crave reassurance that they’re not being conned or made to look foolish. But they are very quick to latch onto a new trend if it resonates with them and their peers.”

The third trend IWSR noted for Gen Z is ‘intellectual curiosity’, noting that they are the first generation to grow up with constant access to the internet.

“For this age cohort, ignorance is really no excuse any more, because the information they need is literally at their fingertips,” said Halstead.

“This intellectual curiosity extends beyond the merely factual to the ways in which categories and products project their image on social media and in the digital space.

“In turn, this influences how the individual, as a form of ‘proto-influencer’, can position themselves within their peer group as potentially the first person to see or report on a new trend, product or digital campaign – always assuming, of course, that it meets the reassurance criteria that are so important to Gen Z consumers.”

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No