Every few years, we seem to have a new conversation about the nuances of the next generation. Well, it's time to have that talk again here in 2018 as we examine Gen Z.
There are plenty of reasons bar operators should get to know Generation Z, but there's an important one to consider. If you don't understand what motivates Gen Z or what they're looking for in terms of beverages, you could be missing out on a lot of profit. After all, there's a lot of them.
So what does Gen Z look for in a cocktail bar?
In a report from soft drink company Franklin & Sons, and as detailed in a recent Imbibe article, a few important trends emerged. Some are to be expected, while others might be a bit shocking.
First of all, as you might expect, Gen Z cares about the impacts of social media. While things like technique, ingredients, craft, and service are still important, so are how those things translate to platforms like Instagram. What does success on Instagram look like? According to a survey of 1,000 people born after 1995, a successful response to a cocktail posted on Instagram should gain 74 likes.
Bars that serve cocktails should care about Instagram because their emerging customer base will pay more for cocktails that are appealing on Instagram. Basically, photogenic cocktails can earn more because Generation Z is willing to pay for them. How much? According to the study, people in this age group are four times as likely to spend up to $20 on a cocktail versus members of older generations.
Lastly, it's not just about cocktails. The low alcohol, N/A movement is really catching on. Not only are broad line manufacturers like Anheuser-Busch InBev looking at N/A to account for 20 percent of their entire portfolio in the very near future, but Gen Z is backing this up with their pocketbooks. Forty-six percent of people under the age of 35 say they would order an N/A beverage or a "mocktail" as opposed to just 16 percent in the over 35 category.
The bottom line is Gen Z will have great influence in the bar and beverage world, so we should certainly pay attention to their likes and dislikes. It could mean the difference between earned and lost profit.
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