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Beyond the Bottle: Exploring Gen Z’s Complex Relationship with Alcohol
Jun 23, 2023

The landscape of the alcoholic beverage industry is rapidly changing as Gen Z consumers' demands and interests continue to evolve.

While data suggests that 20% of Gen Z drink less per capita than millennials, it’s important to understand the reasons behind this shift and determine whether it should be cause for concern for the industry.

One possible explanation for this decline in drinking is the economic climate, which has led to constraints and austerity. As a result, young people may have less time and money to spend on recreational activities like drinking.

Another factor to consider is health and wellbeing. Gen Z is the fittest and most vanity-conscious generation yet, with global brand powers like Nike and Gymshark dominating the influencer social arena and redefining the way this generation thinks about health and wellness. Additionally, the use of recreational marijuana/CBD is increasing in popularity as it becomes legal in many areas, and Gen Z prioritises balance and wellness without mixing the two.

To succeed in this evolving market, companies need to re-engineer their social perception and craft a communication strategy that resonates with the connected and conscious generation.

It’s time for multinational alcoholic beverage companies to consider a multichannel narrative that focuses on authenticity and community. This involves investing in a mixture of creative outputs that make their brand authentic, drive change through experience, and share it with the masses.

To remain current, companies should break free from traditional media shackles and experiment with animation and really drive mixed and diverse media as part of their content proposition.

This requires focusing less on quantitative performance metrics and more on qualitative engagement while localising content with authentic change makers that legitimise brand propositions and build loyalty.

Authenticity doesn’t age, and sustainability is not a narrative that can be tucked under the carpet. Companies must focus on a commitment to change and constantly reengineer their consumer perception.

While you cannot control economic situations or provide solutions to wellbeing and mindfulness, you can create demographic-specific stories that are relevant and authentic. In return, this will legitimise your brand goals and increase your market share within the Gen Z community.

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