While millennials have been blamed for beer’s downward spirals, it seems that the next generation may be even worse news for the industry.
A report from Berenberg Research found that members of Generation Z preferred spirits (like vodka or gin) and wine to beer.
“Generation Z marks a turning point, being the first generation to prefer spirits to beer,” analysts led by Javier Gonzalez Lastra wrote in the report.
While the exact year dividing Gen Z from millennials can be murky, Berenberg surveyed more than 6,000 people ages 16 to 22 across the US to determine the generation’s approach to drinking
Like millennials, the younger generation seems to appreciate the perceived quality of other options while seeing beer — especially from some bigger brands — as inauthentic and unappealing.
Beer companies have also historically focused advertising to white men. This strategy is now backfiring, as women of all races, as well as black and Hispanic men, are now drinking more alcohol compared with earlier generations. As a result, beer-industry giants are scrambling to win over customers they historically ignored.