8 Ways Millennials Are Killing the Economy! Sort Of!
By: Shawn J. Shoulders
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According to a recent survey conducted by Mintel younger shoppers are not buying paper napkins at the same rate that their older counterparts did. The survey found that only 56% of shoppers had purchased paper napkins in the last 6 months. It further found that 86% had purchased paper towels indicating that Millennials are using paper towels as napkins.
Younger shoppers have decided that buying two items that do the same thing is a waste of money. Paper towels are also more versatile, able to clean your face, as well as the sauce you spill on the counter trying to take a selfie in your kitchen while eating.
Soap Bar Manufacturing
Millennials are big fans of being clean. In fact, so much so that they have shunned the way that most people have been doing it for generations. A recent poll of soap sales found that Millennials are not buying soap in traditional bar form. Turns out that 60% of younger consumers would rather buy liquid soap in a pump as they view soap bars as dirty and covered in germs.
We may have to give them this one not based on science or anything just on thinking about using the same bar of soap your roommate rubs on his butt.
The cynical nature of most Millennials means they are not very willing to share their hopes, dreams, or consumer habits with market research companies. This means that when people who are paid to be nosy for a living come knocking younger consumers are likely to just say no.
Market research companies, including AC Neilson the largest market research company in America, have had to change their methods to discover the habits of Millennials. Some companies have taken to mining social media for data and measuring peer response to advertising online. Lucky for them younger people post their entire life online so they are not having too much difficulty gathering data.
Mintel a company that appears a few times on our list also did a survey and found that Millennials are not eating cereal because making it is just too much work. They pointed out that it’s not really because Millennials are too lazy to pour milk and cereal into a bowl but rather that the payoff for said activity is not there. Mainly that no one wants to keep a friend on social media is going to post pics of their cereal. For a meal to be worthy of making it must make good social media.
Younger consumers are opting for meal replacement bars or grab and go sandwiches from a fast food restaurant instead of eating cereal. These buying decisions have caused cereal sales to drop 5% from 2009 to 2014 despite more people eating breakfast than ever before.
Major cereal producers have taken notice and in a desperate effort to save their industry have teamed up with Millennials celebrity chefs to make sushi inspired cereal treats. Most of these creations use elaborately laid out cereal attractively arranged on a platter with garnish and perfect sides. These meticulously prepared plates are designed to photograph well and are sure to get the maximum likes on social media. Proving millennials will not expend energy to feed themselves but will do so to gain the admiration of their peers.
Gone are the days of The Love Boat when sexy young singles take to the seas in a quest for love. The cruse industry in recent years has been shunned by younger people as it is the leisure activity of their parents and grandparents choosing.
It seems most Millennials would rather travel to destinations via the least expensive way they can book online and prefer to stay in luxury hotels or other people’s sofas interchangeably. It also seems that travel priorities among millennials are changing and night life is overtaking other activities while on vacation. This shift means traditional cruses are less and less appealing to younger vacationers.
Millennials seem to have changed the rules when it comes to housing as well. Struggling to pay off student loans, while working less than well-paying jobs, twentysomethings are more content to rent than buy a house.
In some cases, people fresh, out of college are choosing to live with their parents well into their thirties. This trend is becoming so common that many of these well-educated squatters have no plans to move out any time soon as the stigma of living at home at an older age is fading.
De Beers the international cartel that controls diamond prices recently slashed diamond prices about 9% in response to decreased demands for diamonds. They blame the falling demand for diamonds squarely on the shoulders of millennials. It seems that much like the case for real-estate Millennials just feel that this kind of luxury is just out of reach.
The shiny rocks of choice for young people looking to show their love seem to be less valuable and more affordable gemstones. A recent survey of people from 20 to 30 found that these consumers also feel better about buying non-diamond jewelry because they feel that these stones are more ethically produced. Which is not necessarily a reality given the semiprecious gemstone jewelry industry in China’s labor record. However, this information is not very prevalent on social media so they might as well buy the now cheaper diamonds.
It was not that long ago that going to a department store do get a new wardrobe or hot electronic item was the best way to spend a weekend. Millennials however have ditched the department store in favor of online shopping or on the rare chance that do go out shopping it is usually going to be to go to an outlet mall.
The other big trend in Millennials shopping is buying cheap mass-produced fashion in stores that have opened to sell disposable clothing to youngsters. This trend has continued to grow despite the social consequences of buying mass produced Chinese products manufactured questionably. Proving that sometimes with younger consumers the pressures of getting what you want and looking good does not come with a social conscience.
One consequence of this trend it that malls and other retail space across the country is becoming abandoned at a rate that that is alarming. Entire channels on YouTube have begun to spring up touring abandoned malls like they are ancient Egyptian tombs. The saddest part of this is that Millennials will never know the joys of spending an entire day at the mall with their friends bonding over a stack of recently acquired cd’s from Sam Goody while waiting for a movie at the Cineplex contemplating the meaning of The Gap.