Liquor Companies Are Turning Their Vodka Brown To Appeal To Millennials
By Gaby Del Valle
October 10, 2016
Vodka, once the most frequently pilfered spirt from a parent’s liquor cabinet, is becoming passé—and liquor companies are starting to age their clear boozes a little longer to make them more appealing to millennials, who’ve hitched their drinking wagons to whiskey.
According to Quartz, dwindling vodka sales have severely impacted the profits of liquor companies like Diago and Pernod Ricard, which own Smirnoff and Absolut, respectively. Here’s the problem: even though millennials are broke and unemployed, we love fancy brown liquor. Vodka sales may be going down, but bourbon and whiskey sales are way up.
Millennials are older now, and we’re more discerning. We’re past the age where it’s cool to fill a water bottle with vodka, and we’re way past the age where it’s acceptable to drink sickly-sweet marshmallow or pumpkin spice-flavored vodka.
As a result, some liquor companies are beginning to produce barrel-aged gins and vodkas, which are both darker and fancier-sounding than their non-barrel-aged counterparts. Others are investing in smaller craft labels in an effort to appeal to the youth. Constellation Brands, the company behind Svedka, Black Velvet Canadian whiskey, and Casa Noble Tequila, purchased the Utah-based High West craft whiskey distillery for $160 million last week.
“People are generally trading up,” Moody’s senior beverage analyst told Quartz. “Folks want craft beer because it’s new and sexy. Instead of chugging kegs of cheap beer, they’d rather be selective and pay up.”
Finally, millennial-pandering I can get behind.