SYDNEY: Aussie millennials are less likely to drink alcohol than older demographics but they’re more open to new choices and when they’re out in bars and pubs they’re likely to spend more, new research shows.

Data from Nielsen Consumer & Media View research found that just over half (53%) of Millennials said they had consumed alcohol in the past month, compared with 65% of Gen Xers (aged 35 to 54) and 72% of Boomers (aged 55+).

Alcohol marketers not only face the challenge of influencing an age group that doesn’t drink as often but who are less fixed in their choice of tipple.

While millennials rated beer as their favourite drink – 26% had drunk it in the past month, compared to 34% of Gen Xers and 33% of Boomers – they were also consuming a wide range of other alcoholic beverages.

According to Nielsen, they were 33% more likely to have consumed cider (16% had drunk it in the past month) 55% more likely to have consumed vodka (10% had drunk it in the past month) and 18% more likely to have consumed premixed drinks (9% had drunk these in the past month).

Paradoxically, they also regard health factors as important in their choice, so how many calories a drink has, whether it is low carb, vitamin-fortified or organic play into decision making.

Boomer, in contrast, are focused on value and price, particularly when purchasing beer and cider.

Not being as stuck in their drinking habits as other age groups, alcohol-consuming Millennials are willing to pay extra for products that are consistent with the trendsetting image they want to portray, Nielsen said.

That’s one reason why Millennials who bought alcohol on premise were more likely to have spent more than both Gen Xers and Boomers.

Marketers aiming to engage Millennial drinkers need to consider more than brand or product, Nielsen added. That’s because 62% of them said they were prepared to reject brands, products and services based on concerns around their impact on the environment.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by WARC staff