Millennials Drink More Wine Than Any Generation, Study Confirms
When it comes to vino, Boomers and Gen X are no match for you, Gen Y.
By Roger Morris
January 28, 2016
Which generation drinks the most wine-Millennials, who last year celebrated birthdays 21 to 38, Generation X (39-50) or Baby Boomers (51-69)? Turns out it’s mostly a battle between the Millennials and the Boomers. (Sorry, Gen X.)
Earlier this week, the Wine Market Council (WMC) presented findings from its 2015 survey of Americans as to who drank wine, how often did they drink and how much they drank when they did. Overall, we consumed about 2.5 percent more wine in 2015 than we did the year before, and the average consumption per American was 3.84 gallons or about 20 bottles annually. Many of us, of course, helped raise that average. Overall, Americans bought about 380 million cases of wine, and we’ve gone back to drinking more of the expensive stuff, as well.
The WMC divided the people who do drink wine into two categories: “high frequency drinkers”-every day or several times a week-and “occasional drinkers”-once a week to almost never. Next, they did a generational cut, and here it gets tricky: There are 79 million Millennials, 75 million Boomers, but only 49 million Gen-Xers because they only cover 12 years of births, while Boomers span 19 years and Millennials 18. Then there are 8 million people over 70 that we’ll call the Oldsters (okay, the WMC calls them something else), who wheeze into last in every category.
Here’s how it breaks down:
. There are more Millennials at the wine bar than any other age group, edging out the Boomers by a few seats. They comprise 36 percent of all wine drinkers, Boomers 34 percent, Gen Xers 18 percent and Oldsters 12 percent.
. But more Boomers are big boozers, with 38 percent of them being high-frequency wine drinkers, while only 30 percent of Millennials, 20 percent of Gen-Xers and 12 percent of Oldsters popping corks, unscrewing caps or tapping box spigots nightly or several times a week.
But don’t break out the Champagne yet, because:
. When the Millennials sit down to have a glass or two or three, they are the last to leave the bar-not even a contest. The average Millennial wino drinks 3.1 glasses of wine before asking for the tab, while Gen-Xers move up to second at 2.4 glasses, and Boomers fall off the bar stool with only 1.9 glasses. Oldsters come in at 1.7. And if you are a Millennial in your thirties, you bring up the average even more-to about 3.4 glasses.
. The Millennials show no mercy when it comes to total consumption, buying 42 percent of wine sold (160 million cases) , with the Boomers at 30 percent (114 million), Gen-Xers 20 percent (75 million) and Oldsters 8 percent (32 million).
. And the Millennials shut the competition door when it comes to the overall trend: They drink 10 percent more wine than did two years ago, while Gen-Xers are drinking 5 percent more. Everyone else is consuming less than they did before.
But lest you Millennials get too smug, the very first members of the iGeneration-those who celebrated their 6th to 20th birthday last year-turn legal in all states this year. There are 61 million of them, and they are coming for you.