29+ Shopping Trends That Millennials Are Ditching
| LAST UPDATE 12/14/2021
Whether it be gym memberships or cable TV, millennials all over the United States are switching up their shopping habits, and are leaving the rest of the public rather puzzled. Here's a look at the shopping trends millennials are giving up.
Young people may love singing along to drivers license, but that doesn't mean that they're putting their driving qualifications to use. In fact, quite the opposite could be said about the millennial generation.
According to reports, the demographic of drivers between the ages of 18 to 25 plummeted a shocking 25%. Whether it's the high gas prices, increase in environmental awareness, or concentration in city centers with communal transportation alternatives, today's young adults just can't be bothered to get behind the wheel!
Fancy Laundry Products
Who wouldn't want soft fabrics? Well, it may seem like a no-brainer but apparently, millennials aren't racing to the supermarket to pick up fabric softeners. And surprisingly enough, it was said to be credited to their lack of knowledge of the once-staple product!
As the statistics show, there was a 15% decrease in fabric softeners during the years 2007 to 2015. But unawareness wasn't the only explanation for the decline: as style trends have drifted more casual, and laundry machines have improved in quality, most young people just don't see the need to overcomplicate their routine.
One huge factor that differentiates millennials from other generations, is the overall commitment to fitness and physical health. Yet, despite the determination to live an active life, the retention rates at classic gyms have been dwindling down.
So where are today's young adults working out? Well, thanks to new fitness trends like Pilates, hot yoga, and CrossFit, millennials across the country are ditching the warehouse full of treadmills and opting for something more niche - more often than not in a group setting.
Apparently, nostalgia wasn't enough to keep cereal sales up amongst young consumers. In a New York Times article, it was found that a whopping 40% of millennial shoppers were passing up the Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch because of one main factor: inconvenience.
That's right, the article went on to explain that this food "was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it." That's right, apparently, the generation that's always on the go is looking for minimal clean-up, so goodbye Rice Krispies!
When the morning alarm goes off and it's time to stumble over to the closet to pick today's outfit for work, more and more millennials are shoving the tailored suits aside and opting for something a little more casual. Barring a big interview or jury duty, these formal pieces just aren't in demand like they once were.
That's not to say that these timeless pieces have gone out of style, but rather, the workplace attire has just moved away from the suit-and-tie look. And we can thank the lax approach to hi-tech work culture for that! After all, when was the last time you saw Mark Zuckerberg in a dress shirt?
The image has been drilled into our heads for decades: a happy couple posing with their new keys by the white picket fence. However, we're seeing less and less of these first-time home buyer pictures gracing Instagram feeds. Which leaves us with a question: What happened?
There are two major explanations for this new trend. The first, is that millennials just can't seem to compete with the ever-rising real estate market. And second, this young generation moves from city to city with ease, therefore there's some commitment fear in planting roots with a real estate investment.
"Got milk?" Well, apparently millennials haven't. At least, milk that comes from a cow. The former popular milk options like 1%, 2%, and skim, just aren't cutting it these days with the health-conscience young generation. But don't worry, they're not limited by any means.
Millennials have got a whole array of options for their morning coffee and smoothies. From oat to soy and cashew, it's safe to safe to say that milk alternatives are plentiful. And this has definitely contributed to the 40% decline in dairy milk sales over the last 50 years.
Despite many millennials hearing that their wedding day would be the most special day of their lives, the young generation isn't exactly racing to the alter. And it marks a stark contrast to the '80s when two out of every three people were married by the time they reached 34 years old.
These days the same age bracket shows that 50% of 25 to 34-year-olds are still single. But that's not all, even those opting to wed are taking a non-traditional route and often passing on all the fanfare of the past - including engagement rings. Looks like diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend!
From cheap Tuesday nights, to highly anticipated premieres, movie theatres used to be packed to the brim back in the day. However, those full cinemas seem to be a notion of the past thanks to the new generation of homebodies.
Despite new and improved theatres featuring reclining chairs and on-demand food service, millennials are opting for a night-in at the movies thanks to a whole plethora of streaming options. After all, why leave the house when the movie can be watched whilst in pajamas?
Big Supermarket Hauls
If you ask Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers around America, Costco was the place to get your family shopping done back in the day. From bulk purchasing to next-level coupon savings, big box stores were the place to buy everything from clothes to produce and even furniture!
And with endless options at one's fingertips, a lot of people are stumped as to why millennials aren't racing to their nearest Costco. But the answer is quite simple: these young adults just simply aren't cooking enough at home to warrant such a huge grocery haul. Plus, who can compete with online grocery ordering?
Despite what Super Bowl commercials would have us believe, big North American beer brands just don't have the grip on consumers as they once did. From Bud Light to Coors, there's been an overall decline in these classic labels. And millennials have something to do with it.
For starters, millennials looking for a refreshing alcoholic beverage are more often reaching for options like seltzers and canned cocktails. And even those who are looking to crack open a cold brew are choosing craft beer labels and local IPAs instead.
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, cruises were all the rage for families looking for a relaxing vacation that the whole gang would enjoy. From romantic dinner shows to kid-friendly activities and day-outings, it seemed as though cruises were the perfect holiday wrapped in a package.
However, despite their appeal on paper, millennials aren't lining up at the ports to get on board. Whether it be the steep price or the rising criticisms about their environmental impact, young people are saying no to the boat life and rather choosing more local experiences when it comes to traveling.
Millennials and red meat just don't seem to go hand-in-hand. Despite beef and barbecue being at the center of the classic American diet and culture, the younger generation is turning away from this protein source in masses. And it's not just about the health concerns.
For starters, fresh beef is some of the priciest stuff at the grocery store, which is often a luxury that millennials just can't seem to justify. Plus, this generation overall is thinking more and more of the environment and the rights of animals. So that apparently means no more meat!
When looking at the stats, the difference is as clear as day: millennials just aren't buying napkins. And jump back to 15 years ago, sales for this pantry staple used to be a whole lot higher than what it is today. Back in the day, 60% of households were regularly buying, and today, only 40%.
But what's the logic behind ditching the napkin? Well, it has to do with the environmentally-conscience attitude that defines this generation. Plus, these young adults tend to be a little less formal. That means that a guest in need can make-do with some paper towel rather than a custom printed napkin!
Now, don't get us wrong: Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers weren't exactly swimming in mayonnaise back in the day, but the numbers cannot be ignored. Millennials just aren't reaching for this condiment at the grocery store during their weekly food run! And people took notice.
Back in 2018., the Philadelphia Magazine ran an opinion piece titled How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise, which sparked a huge reaction across the country. Whether it be personal taste or health-conscious choices, people had their own reasons for passing on the mayo. But it definitely led to some inter-generational tension.
Back in the day, a wrinkled dress shirt was seen as the ultimate fashion faux-pas. Not only was it a staple of workplace attire, but it also signaled a middle-class status that people were proud to flaunt. So why has the trend faded in popularity over the years?
Well, it has less to do with millennials and more to do with fashion brands. Over the years, no-iron fabrics have risen in popularity, allowing for people to look their finest without having to whip out the iron. Plus, as we've already mentioned, millennials just aren't reaching for the collared shirts like past generations!
From Drake to Rihanna, many of today's biggest artists have sung or rapped about cell phones, but what about landlines? Well, they're missing from modern lyrics for a reason: 66% of today's young adults are living a cordless life. But that's not the only unique fact about this generation's phone habits...
The same survey went on to report that 41% of millennials don't have a landline at all - cordless or not! And on top of that, over 80% of the same demographic admit to sleeping next to their cellphones every single night. Overall, it marks a huge change from how previous generations stayed in touch.
One would think that a mountain of college debt and a competitive real estate market would encourage millennials to try their luck with lottery tickets, but alas, this is another trend on the steady decline thanks to the unique consumer trends of 25 to 40-year-olds.
According to a survey conducted by Gallup, a whopping 60% of Americans aged 50-64 tried their luck with lottery tickets, whereas most people aged 18 to 29 just couldn't be bothered - 70% of them to be exact! But we're just getting started, keep scrolling for more trends that millennials are ditching.
At the peak of the postcard industry, an estimated 20 million "Wish You Were Here's" were sold annually. But today? That's a number of the past. More recent figures show that only 5 million are being purchased. And the decline speaks to a bigger change in how we keep in touch these days.
While back in the day snail mail was the primary way of sharing highlights from one's life, the times have certainly changed. These days, a quick video call or post on Instagram can connect us to our friends and family around the world. But that doesn't stop people from occasionally picking up a postcard as wall art.
So far we've covered declining trends like business attire, fabric softener, and ironing - notice a pattern? Overall, millennials just aren't as fussy about their appearance and opt for a more casual look - especially when it comes to footwear. After all, comfort over fashion, right?
Streetwear has come back in a big way. And for the high-heeled shoe designers of America, that means a sharp decline in sales. But not to worry, many companies have found success in more casual shoe styles like sneakers and boots. Bye-bye foot cramps, hello comfort!
Stocks and Life Insurance
One thing's for certain: millennials are thinking about money. A lot. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're following the same financial trends as past generations. And nowhere is that more true than stocks and life insurances. But it's not exactly a conscious choice they're making.
A study showed that 75% of millennials were going day-to-day without life insurance. And stock investments? Only 13% were jumping board. But it had more to do about this generation's rising money struggles rather than a rejection of those financial institutions.
Millennials may know the sound of a doorbell, but not from their current day-to-day life. These days, doorbells can mainly be found in TV show sitcoms or older homes in the suburbs. But the average millennial apartment? Forget about it. This age demographic just doesn't need it.
And the reason for this points back to the tech-savvy nature of today's young adults. Rather than ring a doorbell, most millennials text or call to let their hosts know they've arrived. Plus, doorbells are typically found in individual homes whereas most 25 to 40-year-olds are still kicking it apartment style.
It's fairly well-known that cable television is on the decline, and you can thank millennial consumer trends for that. Because rather than dishing out upwards of $100 per month, these tech-savvy TV watchers are opting for alternatives like Apple TV, and Netflix. It seems like the options are endless and cable just can't compete.
Even content that used to exclusively air on cable, like sports games, are switching to an online subscription method to keep up with the streaming trend. Plus, rather than scheduling the day around a show airing at a specific time, online services allow for users to watch what they want, when they want, and for cheaper!
Remember when McDonald's was a staple in American food culture? Well, according to today's statistics, that is now a notion of the past. Millennials just aren't rushing to the drive-thru at their local McD's like people once were, and for franchise owners, it means financial troubles ahead. Let's take a look at why.
Just like other food trends on the list such as, mayonnaise and red meat, this specific generation is way more health-conscious than past ones. Plus, having grown up in the world after Super Size Me came out, they're more aware of the risks that come with regularly eating Big Macs. But they're not the only food joint suffering...
McDonald's can take comfort in the fact that they're not the only ones getting the cold shoulder from millennials. In fact, the decline in foot traffic is something being felt across the entire fast-food industry. From Wendy's to Burger King, these roadside burger joints just aren't as popular as they once were.
According to a survey conducted by Segmenta, fast food has been on a steady decline for decades now, and it's only getting more extreme with today's youngest diners. From the rise in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diets to a "shop local" mentality, fast food franchises just don't hold the same appeal.
For past generations, hotels were the ultimate vision of luxury. Maid service, continental breakfast, and 24/7 room service were all part of the major appeal that hotels once had. So why aren't those same incentives bringing millennials through the door?
Overall, millennials on vacation are looking for something that hotels just can't provide: authenticity. Rather than shacking up at the ritziest tourist hotel on the market, today's young travelers are opting for listings on Airbnb to allow them to experience the true culture of their destination.
When looking at the numbers, the facts just can't be ignored. Golf, which was once known as America's favorite pastime, just doesn't have the same grip when it comes to millennial players. A survey highlighted on We Are Golf, warned that only 28% of 18 to 34-year-olds were playing regularly.
Could it be the pricey annual memberships and gear, or the awareness of the environmental impact of golf courses? The root cause is still up for debate. But one thing's for certain: millennials just aren't yelling "fore" like the older generations were.
Skincare is all the rage with millennials. From sheet masks to fancy serums, this health and beauty-conscious generation can't get enough of soaps and moisturizers. But not all of them... While skincare may be on the rise, soap bars certainly are not. So let's take a look at why.
According to a survey conducted by MarketWatch, an overwhelming 60% of millennials hold the belief that rather than keep bodies clean, soap bars are actually a breeding ground for bacteria. Rather than the block of Ivory or Dove, today's young consumers are reaching for the bottles of body wash instead.
Casual dining joints have found themselves in one serious pickle. Despite millennials spending less and less time cooking at home, their restaurant booths just aren't as full as they once were. So what's the deal? Applebee's, TGI Friday's, and many other restaurants wanted to know.
Well, according to study results, casual dining locations just aren't measuring up compared to online food delivery services, like Uber Eats and Seamless. And the blame has come down on millennials for their well-known home-body way of living. From at-home movie nights to take-out, when is their ever a need to leave the house?
Take a look back at the 1950s to the 1990s, and there wasn't one American city that wasn't boasting a department store. From Bloomingdale's to Macy's, these big stores were once the place to get your shopping done. But now? They're seen by many as outdated.
And you guessed it, millennials and their at-home lifestyles have taken the blame. You see, rather than painstakingly walking through the entire multi-story department store, today's young adults are perusing the finest items on the market from - that's right - the comfort of their couches.