Wine Consumption Slips as Millennials Turn Elsewhere

Baby boomers had kept sales flowing until now
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2020 4:41 PM CST
Wine Consumption Falls for the First Time in 25 Years
Stock photo.   (Getty/Praiwan Wasanruk)

(Newser) – In another what-is-it-with-millennials moment, they've been found to be drinking less wine than their elders. Consumption fell last year in the US for the first time since 1994, a 0.9% drop, the Wall Street Journal reports. An industry researcher said baby boomers had driven the good years. "Millennials are just not embracing wine with open arms compared to previous generations," said Brandy Rand of IWSR. "With the rise in low and no-alcohol products and general consumer trends toward health and wellness, wine is in a tough place." That generation instead is reaching for cocktails, hard seltzers and nonalcoholic beer, for starters.

One forecast for 2019 had predicted this, per Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Saying that millennials weren't drinking up as the industry had expected, the shift was attributed to a host of factors, including "their limited financial capacity, a preference for premium spirits and craft beers, delayed careers, negative health messaging regarding alcohol and the legalization of cannabis." Or millennials might just have better taste. Sales of wine by value climbed 1.1% last year from 2018. That's because bottles selling for $10 or less are falling in popularity, while sales of the more expensive stuff are rising. (Read more wine industry stories.)

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