20 Products That Millennials Aren’t Buying Anymore

20 products millennials aren’t buying anymore

Millennials usually get a bad rap for their somewhat lacking and limited financial literacy. But this younger generation has one money skill that other generations probably don’t have — the ability to save. Millennials understand the need to pinch every penny.

However, the frugality of millennials goes well beyond this. Kids today no longer make the same purchasing decisions their parents made. They shop smarter, no longer spending their money on wasteful products. But this leads to them being blamed for killing things like department stores and the housing market.

With that said, here’s a list of 20 products that millennials aren’t buying anymore.

  1. Diamonds

Will society’s love affair with this precious gem soon be over? This is a question that was asked after research conducted in 2015.

The consulting agency Bain & Co. revealed that the retail diamond sector is now experiencing a slow growth. Another research study from The Knot discovered that about eight percent of contemporary brides received an engagement ring with a non-precious stone, a notable increase from two years ago.

A lower rate of marriage is one of the reasons behind the declining diamond purchases among millennials. The Diamond Producers Association came up with a campaign meant to prolong the tradition of using diamonds to mark nuptials. However, it is still undeniable that the earnings of American millennials are 20 percent less compared to baby boomers during the same stage of life.

  1. Beer

Just recently, Goldman Sachs decided to downgrade the Constellation Brands and Boston Beer Company based on data that suggested that younger consumers now prefer spirits and wine over beer. On top of that, they’re also drinking less alcohol compared to older generations. Beers adoption fell one percent from 2016–2017 in the United States market, but no changes were noted in spirits and wine, based on the Nielsen ratings.

Although there are some who argue that this one percent drop is nothing but an overreaction, these small changes actually have a dramatic financial effect on the giants in the beer industry. Beer lost 10 percent of its market share to hard liquor and wine between 2006–2016 alone. This means that millennials now look at beer in a completely different way.

  1. Homes

While some think otherwise, millennials still want to own their own homes — 9 out of 10 young people reported that they want to buy their own home. The difficult truth is that they can’t afford it. The Joint Center for Housing Studies discovered that the rate of homeownership among adults who are younger than 35 years old fell by as much as 12 percent between the years 2006–2011, while two million were still living in their parents’ homes.

It might take a while before these young people start buying houses again. The economic downturn has set the finances of the new generation back, and it’s more challenging for the newly employed to get credit. Most millennials are renting instead of buying.

  1. Bar Soap

According to Mintel’s research, the bar soap’s sales dropped 2.2 percent between 2014 and 2015. They place the blame squarely on the millennials who consider the scented, caked blobs inconvenient and covered in germs.

The report found that the sales of bar soaps accounted for 30 percent of the overall soap, shower, and bath category, yet it’s trending downward. The household’s overall use of bar soap declined by five points, from 89 percent to 84 percent between years 2010–2015.

  1. Cereal

Almost 40 percent of the millennials surveyed by Mintel stated that cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice since they need to clean up after eating it. The younger consumers turn to convenient options with reduced cleanup that can be eaten on-the-go — from fast-food breakfast meals to yogurt.

The cereal sales dropped five percent from the years 2009–2014, though more Americans eat breakfast than before. Companies like General Mills and Kellogg’s have reported that the sales have stopped falling in 2017, so cereals might not be dead yet.

  1. Cars

Back in 1963, the Beach Boys wrote a song called Little Deuce Coupe, which started a completely new genre known as the car song. These days, you’ll have a hard time finding someone below 35 years old who knows the meaning of the phrases used in the song.

Sadly, the car culture in America is experiencing a rather slow death. Reports released by Yahoo Finance revealed that the percentage of people aged 16 to 24 who have a driver’s license has notably declined since 1997 — it is lower than 70 percent for the very first time since the release of Little Deuce Coupe. In 2010, adults of ages 21 to 44 years old purchased only 27 percent of all the new vehicles that were sold in America — much lower than the peak of 38 percent back in 1985.

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  1. Bulk Warehouse Club Goods

It might sound a bit weird, but you have to keep in mind that since millennials no longer own homes or cars, a membership at Costco isn’t cost-efficient. It can be very tricky to bring home your yearly supply of paper towels and Nesquik if you don’t have a car. And if you do manage to get the goods home, you’ll have nowhere to stash your horde of kitchen supplies in your studio apartment.

As a way to respond to the demand of millennials, the big box giant is working hand in hand with Google to deliver specific items directly to the home. But even this won’t work in the long run. The chief financial officer of Costco stated that they cannot be expected to go to all houses to deliver small quantities of items. This is not free, and sooner or later someone must pay for this.

  1. Motorcycles

Analysts have revealed that the current data suggests that millennials aren’t buying motorcycles much anymore. The sales of Harley Davidson motorcycles, which represents around half of the big bike market in the United States, dropped as much as 1.6 percent overall in the year 2016 compared to the earlier year, while overall sales in the United States fell by as much as 3.9 percent.


  1. Investments

Needless to say, investing in equities is recommended. People who’ve just recently entered the workforce have lots of time before their retirement to ride out the market blips. Experts suggest that younger investors should place about 75 to 90 percent of their portfolio into stocks.

Sadly, having grown up in the time of the Great Recession, millennials are choosing to put their hard-earned cash in their sock drawer instead of into Wall Street. During a survey of around 1,500 adults aged 22 to 32, about 52 percent of the respondents stated that they were not confident in the stock market as the best place to invest for their retirement.

About 32 percent of the respondents claimed that most of their savings were in mutual funds or stocks.

  1. Health Insurance

Based on studies, adults 18 to 34 years old made up 40 percent of the uninsured population in the world before Obamacare. Why is it that young people no longer get health coverage? Well, they count on not getting sick. The demographic is very healthy — those who work in health insurance call them the invincibles.

Ever since the Affordable Care Act, more and more millennials are starting to purchase insurance. About 28 percent of the eight-million enrollees in Obamacare were 18 to 34 years old. This is short of the 40 percent that the Congressional Budget Office expected.

  1. Designer Handbags

It seems that millennials are also starting to hurt designer handbag sales. Brands such as Kate Spade and Michael Kors were forced into selling their handbags at bigger discounts because millennials are losing interest or don’t have the money to spend on such bags. The mega-popularity of these brands also somewhat contributed to their demise.

  1. Golf

The golf craze created by Tigers Woods appears to be over, as other sports are capturing the interest of millennials. Based on the National Golf Foundation, over nine million golfers were between the ages 18 to 34 in the 1990s.

By the year 2015, this number reduced to six million. Despite the decline, millennials were poised to be the biggest generation of the active golfers, which means the sport was meant to evolve to cater to the interest of millennials.

  1. Condoms

Based on research, the findings show that the sales of condoms are falling, possibly because millennials are too distracted by technology to have as much sex. Research experts also reasoned that many millennials might be using alternative forms of contraceptives like IUDs or Plan B.

  1. “Breastaurants” (Hooters)

“Breastaurants” like Twin Peaks and Hooters haven’t been doing so well lately. The number of Hooters locations across America has dropped by more than seven percent between the years 2012–2016, and the sales have stagnated based on industry reports.

Hooters also struggled to win over the millennials for some time. In 2012, they attempted to revamp their image with updated décor and some new menu items to attract female customers and millennials.

  1. Napkins

Younger consumers opt for paper towels instead of napkins based on an article, which points to a survey that was conducted by Mintel. This highlights that only 56 percent of the shoppers said they purchased napkins in the previous months. Eighty-six percent of the respondents said they’d purchased paper towels.

In comparison to napkins, paper towels are much more functional and may be used for several purposes. It was also noted that millennials are more likely to eat meals out of their home, which also contributed to the decline of napkin sales.

  1. Yogurt or Light Yogurt

The sales of light yogurt fell 8.5 percent in September 2016, which is a $200M drop from $1.2B to $1B. Industry sales of all yogurt declined 1.5 percent, the 4th consecutive year of the falling sales. This decline may be traced to the growing demand for protein-rich foods rather than low-fat and low-calorie options. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, appeals to the customers searching for a filling option that’s packed with protein.

In the 1980s and 1990s, diets that are low fat were actually the norm in America. As the food manufacturers worked to get rid of fat from the products, they started replacing this with another ingredient, sugar. Due to this, light yogurt is frequently packed with sugar but advertised as healthy, low-fat choices.


  1. Marmalade

There’s a great chance that avocado toast and Nutella were the death of marmalade. In a survey, it was found that individuals aged twenty-seven or younger comprised only one percent of marmalade sales in 2016.

  1. Fabric Softener

The sales of liquid fabric softeners decreased 15 percent across America from 2007–2015. Downy, the market leader, fell 26 percent in the same period. The head of Downy said that millennials have no clue what fabric softeners are for.

  1. The Olympics

Thanks to the 1980s and 1990s, the Olympics turned into a global event that highlights live entertainment, diplomacy, and sportsmanship. According to the numbers shared by the NBC and based on the report of Bloomberg, the viewership of the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro dropped by 25 percent among 18–49-year-old demographic in comparison to the London games in 2012. The decline forced NBC to provide advertisers free airtime to make sure that their commercials were viewed by the number of people stipulated in the contracts.

  1. Anything You Want Them to Purchase

When purchasing products, older Americans typically rely on the advice of someone they know. Sixty percent of boomers stated that the recommendations of family members and friends influence their buying decisions more than the online review of a stranger. The majority of millennials, on the contrary, don’t like the help of their peers or even their parents. Fifty-one percent of young adult’s state that they prefer to read product reviews from those who they don’t know.

Millennials are buying less stuff — that’s a fact. For the previous generation, the must-haves are TVs, luxury bags, and cars, but these are not as essential for consumers these days. Millennials are also either putting off the big buys or getting rid of them altogether.

So, what are millennials buying? They value experiences over material goods. A study found that millennials would rather spend money on live events like concerts or go on vacations.

To sum it up, it seems that millennials are smarter with their money, contrary to what the media would have you believe. They aren’t lazy good-for-nothing children — they’re go-getters who know the value of a dollar and don’t spend frivolously.