Gen Z Video Insights

3 Things We Learned About Gen Z & Premium Liquor 

The most expensive premium liquor that you could (in theory, but perhaps not in practice) buy right now is Isabella’s Islay, a single malt Scotch whisky. For just 120,024 payments of $49.99, you can add the $6 Million bottle to your bar cart. And by bottle, we of course mean English crystal decanter, covered in over 8,500 diamonds and 300 rubies, the latter of which can be used to spell out anything you want. Personally, we recommend “I could have bought a Gulfstream and still had $1 Million left over,” but we’re not sure what kind of real estate 300 rubies realistically takes up on a decanter. Why are we telling you this? Candidly, it’s because we went down an internet rabbit hole while we were researching a general price point for premium liquors to introduce this piece on Gen Z and premium liquor

The general consensus is anything over 30 bucks. 

If you read our report on Gen Z and Alcohol, you know that over half (54.3%) of our respondents spent up to $30 on their favorite liquors, FMBs, wines, and beers per month. That left 45.7% spending in the premium range, assuming that every one of them was spending that much all at once, and all on liquor.

We don’t love assumptions, though, especially when we have over 60K Gen Z panelists we can ask. 

Here’s what they said:

One premium liquor stands out the most to Gen Z

In 2013, Complex counted up the number of mainstream raps that mention Hennessy, and came up with 141, making it the number one most-mentioned premium liquor in hip hop — and that was 12 years ago. It clearly has staying power, because 42.6% of our respondents name-dropped Henny when we asked them to list the brands they associate most with premium liquor.

Zoomer consumers connote premium liquors with big celebrations

Many respondents said that they’d consider buying premium on one kind of occasion — big ones. From “galas” to grad parties, Gen Z thinks that premium liquors are suited particularly well when it comes to raising a glass in celebration.

Gen Z isn’t reaching for “the bottle on the high up shelf” — yet

By far, the association Gen Z makes most when it comes to premium liquor is its higher price point. “Expensive”and “pricy” sprang immediately to mind for our respondents when we asked them what they think of when they think of top shelf spirits. It was also cited frequently as a reason that they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) buy it. For budget conscious Gen Z, premium liquor feels like a splurge.

However, many of our respondents also perceive premiums as having a higher quality, appealing to refined palates, and craftmanship. So, as Gen Z students transition from college to the workplace – and as the current Gen Z workforce is promoted – the additional wiggle room in their budgets will open up an entrypoint for a consumer group that has demonstrated that they are willing to pay more as long as they’re getting their money’s worth.
This is just a snapshot of the insights we collected in our 2022 Gen Z & Alcohol Report. Want to know which brand is Gen Z’s favorite? The #1 reason they gave for raising a glass? The average amount they spend each month — and the surprising way they purchase their favorites? Give that button below a click to snag a copy of the full report and pour yourself a glass of refreshing Gen Z insights.

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