35 Things Millennials are Killing Off
The Greatest Generation bravely fought the horrors of World War II in order to bring about lasting peace throughout the world. The baby boomers grew up in the post-war period and shaped the world as we know it.
But millennials, aren’t content with doing things just because “that’s how they’ve always been done.” Here’s a guide to all the industries, products and institutions millennials are killing off.
Canned tuna sales are on the decline, and companies like Starkist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea are blaming their woes on millennials. Why? For not owning can openers. That may seem a bit much, but Big Tuna is feeling the heat after sustaining a nearly 40% decline over the last few decades.
If Coors and Budweiser had their way, millennials would be following in the footsteps of previous generations in knocking back cold ones left and right. But it’s become increasingly clear that millennials are turning their back on beer.
Sure, we’ve structured our entire way of life around the continued extraction and use of oil. But millennials are ready to ditch this dirty (and deadly) fuel in favor of...literally anything...that won’t kill the planet.
For many Americans, football is more than just a sport: It’s a way of life. From the NFL, all the way down to Pop Warner leagues, football is such a popular and lucrative sport that for previous generations, it was almost impossible to imagine an American way of life without it.
For a while now, millennials have been saying “I don’t” to “I do.” As few as four out of 10 millennials have tied the knot (according to a2016 Gallup poll). Research suggests that millennials are putting off marriage in order to travel and prioritize their careers in much greater numbers than previous generations.
Back in 2012, it seemed like J.Crew was on a roll. The longtime retailer hit upon a magic combination of savvy marketing and genuine style inspiration led by creative director Jenna Lyons, whose personal style combined luxe materials with creative basics for a quirky, unique look. This quickly became J.Crew’s signature style.
Yes, really: Running is dead. Well, not entirely — but it’s in trouble! After a nearly two decade-long boom, the industry saw the number of competitive race participants start to decline in 2015 from an all-time high of 19 million runners just two years earlier. So, what’s behind the sudden reversal?
Pour one out for a classic round of 18 holes. New studies show that golf — long the preferred pastime of the wealthy and powerful — is not high on the list of things millennials are into. Overall, participation in the sport is down across the board in the US, and golf-related sales are down millions of dollars, causing some in the industry to wonder what the future holds.
If you grew up before the fall of the Berlin Wall, chances are you have fond memories of starting each morning with a bowl of some incredibly sugary cereal that got soggy halfway through eating it. Today, an entire generation is giving up cereal for breakfast — and with billions of dollars on the line, people are taking notice.
Ever walk into a sweaty, smelly gym, look around, and think, “There has to be a better way?” Millennials have. Traditional gyms like Planet Fitness and New York Sports Club have seen memberships drop. So where is the health-conscious generation turning instead? Millennials are ditching the big-box atmosphere in favor of pricey boutique studios that offer personalized attention as well as streaming fitness options that include a growing number of at-home workouts. Millennials are healthier than ever — it’s the fitness industry inflicted with growing pains.
Once considered cutting edge in television technology, DVRs now feel as outdated as LaserDisc players or VCRs thanks to millennials’ quick adoption of on-demand services and streaming players. DVR sales have been declining for years, marking a clear shift in generational viewing habits. Millennial viewers have cut the cord and have instead opted for streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Quick! Picture a guy in his late 20s to early 30s. Chances are he has a beard. That’s what has the razor industry feeling pretty defeated. Sales dipped over five percent in 2018 alone as more men skipped one or more shaves a week. That’s leading traditional manufacturers like Gillette to fight for relevance in a marketplace crowded with disruptors.
Yet another classic American condiment millennials have in the crosshairs. The linchpin of potato salad, BLTs and (controversial) accompaniment to french fries, mayonnaise sales have dipped in recent years, leaving legacy companies like Hellman’s and Kraft Heinz scrambling for ways to appeal to younger consumers.
A key component of the American dream has always been homeownership. Since the 1990s, the trend has been the bigger, the better. But for a majority of people under the age of 40, being able to own any home — much less one that requires a small army of maintenance people — is increasingly challenging.
The 9-to-5 Workday
See you later, sensible slacks! The future of work is here...and it doesn’t involve spending 25 years at a company with casual Fridays. The typical millennial changes jobs every three years. Plus, the rise of freelancing (the “gig economy”) and other forms of self-employment mean millennial workers are placing a premium on flexibility and independence – something the corporate world is still struggling with.
It seems like every day there's a new story about corporate chain restaurants blaming their falling profits and slow growth on picky millennials. Suburban mainstay Applebee’s is one of the latest casualties.
What do you see when you picture a motorcycle owner? An older retiree out cruising on a Harley-Davidson? A well-off Gen X’er who has the time and money to indulge an expensive hobby? That’s exactly the crisis the motorcycle industry (Harley-Davidson, in particular) is facing as less millennials buy motorcycles.
It’s no secret millennials spend many hours on their phones playing games. The mobile game industry is incredibly lucrative. much so, in fact, that state lottery commissions are worried they’re at risk of losing a generation of potential customers who could be buying lotto tickets instead of extra donuts in Candy Crush.
Like many other conventions of the boomer-focused workplace, the idea of taking a vacation has a different meaning to millennials. They are more work-obsessed (and stressed!) than the generations that came before them, and they take far fewer vacations as a result.
Nothing is safe from millennials – not even the lowly napkin. This humble staple of the table place setting is under attack from cash-strapped, eco-conscious millennials. Many view napkins a waste of money and resources when compared to paper towels, which are more versatile than simple, two-ply napkins.
Founded by six Florida businessmen in 1983, Hooters was a wild concept for the time: scantily clad women serving wings and burgers to happily paying customers. Even its owners thought it would fail. It may have taken a few decades, but their suspicions came true – this all-American “breastaurant” is in serious trouble.
Despite record-breaking box office profits and double-digit growth in recent years, Hollywood has a major theater-going problem. A 2015 New York Post report claimed the share of movie tickets purchased by people between the ages of 18 and 24 fell by a third in just over three years.
After watching the economy crash in 2008, a growing number of millennials became weary of taking on debt (other than student loans, for which many felt they had no other choice), leading to a shift toward debit card spending that has the credit card industry feeling the pinch. Why? Because credit card companies don’t make as much money from debit card fees as they do on credit card fees.
You know the kind – a cute little one- or two-bedroom place in the $200,000 to $300,000 range that’s only meant to be lived in for a few years before trading up for a dream home. Millennials are skipping this once-thriving market.
Another potential casualty of the Internet. Millennials’ well-documented preference for quick and easy online shopping is translating to a decline in grocery store sales that may be a sign of things to come. Food delivery services like GrubHub and Seamless offer millennials more options than ever before. Why bother learning how to cook pad Thai when you can have the best in town delivered right to your door?
American cheese has been a staple of the American diet for decades. But the unnaturally orange, plastic-wrapped cheese slices are quickly losing favor with millennials in search of more nutritious and delicious options. Sales for producers like Kraft and Velveeta fell 1.6% in 2018, which has manufacturers and other food industry insiders worried about the future.
Ask any millennial about their plans for retirement and, more likely than not, the answer will be some version of, “What retirement?” The baby boomer dream of a relaxing retirement after a long and fulfilling career is increasingly seen by cash-strapped millennials as a luxury they’ll never be able to afford.
The diamond industry’s destructive and inhumane mining practices have been well known for decades. (Remember Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond?) However, previous generations seemed willing to turn a blind eye to those harsh realities. Everyone, that is...except millennials.
There’s no denying Americans love cars: In 2018 alone, consumers bought over 17.3 million vehicles. But guess who’s not buying into this part of the gas-guzzling part of the American dream? You guessed it: millennials. Recent studies of car-buying trends have found that while young people are still buying automobiles, their relationship to them is markedly different than older generations.
A publicly traded company since 1906, Sears has a long and storied history. The same goes for mall anchor stores, such as J. C. Penney and Macy’s. But years of corporate mismanagement, the 2008 financial meltdown and shifting consumer trends paved the way for a generation of online shoppers to deal the final blow.
Bars of Soap
Cheap Pet Food
The cruise industry is well aware that they are facing a generational crisis. When you think of a cruise, it’s likely you’ll think of older couples looking to ride out their golden years cruising the oceans on a sprawling ship. Millennials, on the other hand, prefer more authentic experiences.