Millennials Think Before they Drink: Fewer Rounds, Less Carbs, More Variety

Millennials Think Before they Drink: Fewer Rounds, Less Carbs, More Variety

Millennials (aged 18 to 34) are less likely to drink than their elders. Nielsen Consumer & Media View research shows that just over half (53%) of Millennials said they consumed alcohol in the past month, compared with 65% of Gen Xers (aged 35 to 54) and 72% of Boomers (aged 55+). As such, Millennials pose a challenge to alcohol marketers because of the range of factors that influence their drinking choices.

Millennials rate beer as their favourite tipple with 26% having consumed it in the past month – slightly less than the 34% of Gen Xers and 33% of Boomers. Compared to all other consumers of a legal drinking age, however, Millennials are more open to other drink choices. This group is:

  • 33% more likely to have consumed cider (16% said they had in the past month)
  • 55% more likely to have consumed vodka (10%)
  • 18% more likely to have consumed premixed drinks (9%).

New drinks, new ideas, food and technology all appeal to alcohol-consuming-Millennials who are more likely to see themselves as trendsetters amongst their friends and are willing to pay extra for products that are consistent with the image they want to portray.

Millennials look for value but they also rate health factors such as low carb, calories, vitamin-fortified and organic as very important; compared to Boomers who favour value and price, particularly when purchasing beer and cider.

Marketers aiming to engage Millennial drinkers need to consider more than brand or product because 62% of them are willing to reject brands, products and services based on concerns around their impact on the environment.

Millennials are out and about more than the older generations, with 52% visiting a bar or pub in any given week with a mobile phone clutched in the hand: more than half (54%) agree that they cannot live without their mobile phone. While they may drink less overall, Millennials are still an important group. In the past month, Millennials who bought alcohol on premise were more likely to have spent more than both Gen Xers and Boomers.


Nielsen Consumer & Media View is a rolling survey of more than 20,000 Australians aged 14 and above. It captures their lifestyles, behaviours, passions and attitudes toward almost every aspect of their life. It’s great for helping advertisers understand the everyday Australian consumer that they want and need to communicate with. We also include media consumption data with the fusion of official TV, radio and digital audience ratings to get a rounded view of how brands can best target and reach their target audiences. To find out more about how CMV can help you more effectively plan your marketing, please contact your Nielsen representative.