Yes, I am having a little fun with the headline, after all, it is pretty much a running joke at this point that millennials are solely responsible for the death of many different industries, movements, and traditions. Sometimes these headlines have a particularly nasty edge to them but rest assured any millennials reading this the headline is all in good fun.
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Plus killing binge drinking culture wouldn't exactly be a bad thing would it? After all, excessive consumption of alcohol isn't really something to be celebrated is it? But while it might be surprising to some people in some cases it kind of was.
Whether it was simply a tradition that got warped overtime or a long-standing cultural issue is open for debate but the UK, in particular, had a big binge drinking problem not too long ago. This problem affected many groups of people but was particularly rife in the 16 – 30 age group.
There are some variations but it is generally agreed that millennials are born from 1981 to 1996. So, the youngest would be 22 with the oldest being 37 although this hasn't stopped many people from stereotyping the group as people solely in their early twenties.
Now, of course, with so many people in that vast age range you are still going to find people who like to drink. Contrary to what you might have read millennials haven't killed pubs, the beer industry or anything of the sort. But they have changed drinking culture and I would argue that they have changed it for the better.
Like any generation millennials are a varied bunch of people some will like to drink alcohol and some won't. But there have been noticeable traits when it comes to millennial behaviour especially in regards to their drinking habits.
For example, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that young adults are drinking less and even those who do drink don’t drink as much as previous generations did. Research also suggested that more than a fifth of adults in the UK don't drink at all. This isn’t new data either it was actually published in 2015.
More recent research has shown that this has only grown over time and that binge-drinking is also dropping. The Independent summed this up effectively by reporting that "shunning alcohol had become mainstream" amongst young people.
But of course plenty of millennials still enjoy a drink every now and again but even when drinking this pesky generation have found a way to be healthier. Non alcoholic beers, wines, and spirits are now much more commonplace than they once were.
You would have a hard time tracking down a non-alcoholic beer at one point and now if you ask in a pub or bar you will likely have plenty of different options to choose from! To put it into perspective in 2018 the sales of both non alcoholic beer and low alcohol beer rose by 38%.
And even popular well-known breweries like Heineken have started making their own non-alcoholic drinks to better capitalise on the growing interest in non-alcoholic beverages. The growing interest in non-alcoholic drinks is supported by the younger generations like millennials and Generator Z or the post-millennials.
With many outlets reporting that "millennials are driving the market for non-alcoholic beer" and healthier low-alcohol drinks. It's important to say that millennials haven't abandoned drinking alcohol completely but they certainly seem to have a different attitude towards alcohol than previous generations.
Why Are Millennials Drinking Less?
Why exactly this happened is open for debate really and there are likely many reasons. Interestingly many commentators believe multiculturalism could be the big driving force behind why millennials don't like to drink as much or opt for non-alcoholic drinks instead.
This is because millennials who have grown up in an increasingly multicultural society don’t place a strong emphasis on traditional pastimes and let’s be honest many of these traditions do involve drinking in some form. But there are other factors to consider like the economic factors involved.
Drinking is pretty expensive, isn’t it? Many millennials place a stronger emphasis on the importance of saving money. So, simply put they don’t think alcohol is worth the cost. There is also social media to consider as well millennials where really the first generation to be introduced to it.
And they also know how important keeping a good impression on it is. No one really wants drunken photos or videos posted all over their Facebook page do they? But maybe it could all be down to the fact that drinking alcohol especially over consuming it simply isn’t viewed as fun anymore?
Alcohol might have just lost its cool with the younger generations and that is why the market is changing to reflect the beliefs/ opinions of people. Millennials didn’t kill alcohol but they did make people rethink its importance and that is not necessarily a bad thing.