If you keep up with Twitter, you may have seen some memes of article titles, written presumably by Baby Boomers, about various industries that Millennials are being accused of being responsible for destroying. In the opinions of many, Millennials are the sole cause of the decline in spending on and patronage of oil, diamonds, homes, Hooter’s, football, banks, bar soap, and fabric softener.
Millennial is a word commonly thrown around to describe any young person. In truth, Millennials can be segmented into two groups: old Millennials (born 1980-1989) and young Millennials (1990-1998).
Although the leaders of these industries may attribute their decline to “the picky spending habits” of Millennials, the decline of these industries were almost inevitable due to issues like lack of practicality or innovation and the rise of technology.
Millennials have similar spending habits to Baby Boomers, in terms of spending as a percentage of income. Both Millennials and Baby Boomers spend 37% of their income on housing and 14% on food. Spending on apparel and entertainment is about equal: Millennials spend 4% on apparel and services when baby boomers spend 3%, and Millennials spend 5% on entertainment when Baby Boomers spend 6.5%. The main differences are that Baby Boomers spend significantly more on healthcare and Millennials spend significantly more on education.
That being said, Baby Boomers make on average almost $12,000 more a year than Millennials. When you make less money, you have to decide what’s worth it and what’s not, and let’s be honest: fabric softener is not.
The moral of the story: if Millennials aren’t buying your product, find a way to make your product worth budgeting into their underpaid salaries. Or, give your Millennials a raise.