Helping or Hurting? 6 Industries Millennials Are Drastically Changing

September 5, 2017

Los Angeles is one of the top U.S. cities where millennials want to live. The younger generation has rapidly evolved over the last few years (otherwise known as growing up) and they are ready to take on the world in a variety of ways.

“There are some very specific things you see millennials looking for in a community right now,” said Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics, an Austin based marketing firm. And according to Curbed Los Angeles, L.A. comes in at number six on the list of “top U.S. cities where millennials want to be“.

Not only will millennials be moving to L.A. in droves over the next few years, but they will likely continue to drastically change just about every industry across both Southern California and the entire United States.

If you search Google for phrases like “Millennials are ruining…” and “Why won’t Millennials buy…”, then you’ll find countless articles about the various ways young people are destroying life as we know it. According to a roundup of these pieces from Business Insider, the average young adult in the U.S. is directly responsibly for ruining everything from dining chains to the cereal industry.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these industries and see how exactly millennials are changing them — for better or worse.

The Dining Industry

“Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants,” said Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings.

Although Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, and other dining chains have been closing their doors all over the country, this can’t all be blamed on millennials. It’s true that young Americans are cooking at home and ordering takeout much more than previous generations, but they are also eating out at restaurants — just not chains. Millennials are greatly supportive of local businesses; they would much rather eat at an up-and-coming local foodie spot than go to an established chain with a corporate vibe.

The Coffee Industry

Here is one industry that looks positive across the board. Millennials, from Los Angeles to Maine, love coffee. Although it’s true that just about everyone likes coffee (or at least drinks it), younger Americans have demonstrated a deep affection for specialty coffee. The retail value of the coffee market in the U.S. is estimated to be worth $48 billion — with specialty coffee comprising roughly 55% of the entire value share.

The Automobile Industry

The U.S. auto industry has recovered well after the Great Recession, but the way young Americans like to travel is changing the industry in surprising ways. Ride-sharing apps haven’t just altered the transportation industry; major car makers are also investing in ride-sharing services.

In addition, urban young people are especially likely to avoid car ownership and opt for greener forms of transportation like skateboarding or cycling. Though there are 500 skateboarding parks currently in the U.S., many millennial skaters are now skating to and from work.

The Beer Industry

There have been hundreds of articles shared across the web expressing sheer anger at millennials for killing the beer industry. But, once again, it’s just not true. Although mass produced beer sales are hurting, craft beer has been doing just fine in recent months.

Yes, the Applebee’s of beers aren’t doing as well as they did in the past, but that’s because millennials are more likely to avoid more mainstream brews. In fact, The Motley Fool reports that there has never been more breweries in operation in the history of the country as there are today — and 99% of those breweries are craft breweries.

The Printing Industry

Surveys have found that printed materials are 59% more engaging for readers than online articles, but there’s no denying that the printing industry has been in decline. Though millennials haven’t single handedly caused the decline of the newspaper industry, they certainly haven’t contributed too much to help it. Young Americans spend a significant amount of time online, and many millennials have never lived in a world without the Internet.

So while print is not in danger of going extinct, the youngest generation is more comfortable with a smartphone than a magazine.

The Housing industry

If you’ve heard that millennials aren’t buying homes, you’ve been given bad information. predicts that in 2017, roughly 61% of all home buyers will be under the age of 35 years old. There is no question that millennials have (belatedly) broken into the housing market. And according to the Curbed Los Angeles report, many of those young home buyers will be looking for real estate in sunny Southern California.

Simply put, the next time someone tries to tell you that millennials are ruining an industry, remember what they said about the housing market.