NO! Millennials are not killing these brands


-Over the last two years, Millennials have been labeled as the “fall guy” for many brands and products losing their luster.

-In 2018 alone, adults ranging in age from 18-35 years old have been blamed for sales declines in canned tuna, American cheeses, homeownership and motorcycles.

-The idea that Millennials are killing caned tuna is laughable.

-It’s NOT Millennials, it’s ALL consumers, changing tastes.

Headlines grab attention and ridiculous headline gain page views.  The latest headline is that Millennials are killing canned tuna.  That statement is among the most ridiculous, I have ever read.

I spent yesterday talking to some category managers and shelf managers at supermarkets and their response was “of course Millennials are not killing canned tuna”.   The good news is that more people are buying tuna in bags because it’s more convenient the bad news is that yes, tuna sales are down but it’s not because of Millennials.

Andy Mecs, vice president of marketing and innovation for Pittsburgh-based StarKist, told the outlet, “A lot of Millennials don’t even own can openers” today and he blames them for declining sales.  That my friends is pure BS!  Maybe consumers have too many other choices when it comes to lunch and who needs a can opener when you have easy open pouches?

The CEO of restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings called out Millennials in a letter to shareholders last year, blaming its sales numbers on them.  Ha?  Did he ever think that people don’t prefer high fat wings and Budweiser when they can go to a local craft beer pub and get better food?

A report released by the Urban Institute — a policy research group — cited Millennials as one of the reasons why homeownership is lower than that of their parents and grandparents.  Why? Well, let’s see… first, home ownership in most areas is expensive and second Millennials don’t want to be anchored to a home if they want to change jobs.

Then there are beer sales. Last summer, Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of both Boston Beer Company and Constellation Brands on the data that young consumers (Millennials) aren’t drinking as much beer as generations before.  Just step into any craft brewery and tell me that Millennials are not drinking as much beer.  Brands like Coors and Budweiser are losing share because they are like making love in a canoe…fucking close to water.

Why the hell are we so focused on Milennials?

Women over 50 are the single largest demographic group with incomes over $100,000
– They control 95% of household purchasing decisions
– Contrary to the inane bullshit that they are “stuck in their ways,” 82% will try new brands.

On average, baby boomer women make more money than millennial men. Median weekly earnings:
– Highly coveted Men 25-34: $791
– Completely ignored Women 55-64: $795

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]If Americans over 50 were their own country, they’d be the third largest economy in the world [/inlinetweet]– larger than the entire economies of Germany, Japan, or India. Between now and 2030 they will grow at almost 3 times the rate of adults under 50. And among adults over 50, women do the majority of consumer spending.

And what percent of marketing activity is aimed at people over 50? According to a 2016 report by Nielsen — 5%. You read that right, 5%.

When brands stop focusing strictly on Millennials and look in the mirror, they are going to see a reflection they don’t like.[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]  It’s bad branding & marketing not Millennials that are killing so many brands.[/inlinetweet]

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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