The term “Millennial” has become such a buzz word over the last few years that it’s often just used as a synonym for all young people. In reality though, Millennials are likely to be the main chunk of your target market, particularly for coffee businesses. It’s more important than ever to really understand the habits and tendencies of this generation if you want your business to stay relevant in the constantly changing coffee industry.
What is a Millennial?
First things first, many people seem very confused about what a Millennial actually is. In fact, quite often you will see people complain about Millennials without realising that they are one themselves! Here’s a breakdown of the main generations you will have heard of.
- Generation Z or Centennials – born 1997 or later (22 and younger)
- Millennials or Generation Y – born 1981-1996 (23-38 years old)
- Generation X – born 1965-1980 (39-54 years old)
- Baby Boomers – born 1946-1964 (55-73 years old)
- The Silent Generation – born 1928-1945 (74-91 years old)
Coffee habit differences
As you can see, the term Millennial covers a wide group of people, from university students to the parents of university students! As such the coffee habits of this generation are also going to vary quite drastically. More than any previous generation, Millennials may have completely opposite expectations around what their coffee should taste like, having grown up in a culture full of choice they will usually expect a variety of options. You may be able to get away with a simple black or white coffee for Baby Boomers, but with Millennials that won’t get you anywhere!
Baby Boomers and Gen Xs are more accustomed to the traditional idea of a coffee shop as somewhere to come to relax with a hot drink, or to grab a caffeine hit in the morning, where Millennials are more likely to seek out an experience, or a more specialist product.
As the first generation to have grown up with technology, Millennials are also exposed to a wide variety of possibilities through social media, so they are much more likely to be aware of the latest coffee trends and products, and far less likely to find a huge array of options and lingo confusing. Recent trends like iced coffee and nitro cold brew cocktails have been very popular with the younger generations, and this trend is likely to continue as Gen Zs start to reach the age where they have more disposable income to spend on luxuries like specialist coffee drinks. For Gen Zs in particular, presentation will become a more important factor with “instagramability” playing a real role in their purchase choices.
Choices choices choices!
It’s clear that unless you intend to cater exclusively to customers aged 39 and older, you will have to embrace the diverse and experience orientated purchasing habits of Millennials and Gen Zs. So, it is vital that your coffee machines can provide a wide range of different options to keep even the pickiest customer happy.
The WMF 5000 S can produce a whole host of different coffee based drinks with the Dynamic Milk system, which uses a variety of different milk-foam consistencies for both hot and cold beverages. The fully automated system creates perfect drinks every time, freeing up your staff to focus on providing the best possible experience for your customers.
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