Millennials may be health conscious, but they still adore booze

Here’s to your health.
Here’s to your health.
Image: AP/Keith Srakocic
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Maybe it’s self-medication?

Goldman Sachs put out a comprehensive note on the millennial generation this week, which basically says the age cohort is far more health conscious than its predecessors.

“Healthy living sets the new standard of cool,” the analysts write, “Wellness is now a key driver of consumer spending,” they continue. Among other things, millennials are far more likely than those in previous generations to buy organic food, they consume far fewer calories, and they engage in more physical exercise, according to the note. This has all sorts of implications for apparel and grocery retailers.

But there is one glaring exception to the millennial outbreak of health consciousness. Millennials love their booze, and are much more likely than their elders to drink in response to stress.

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“Perceptions about alcoholic beverage consumption have not been negatively impacted by the millennial wellness trend,” writes Goldman.

And you can hardly blame them. Youth unemployment is alarmingly high, and millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—make considerably less money relative to others in the economy than did workers in previous generations when they were 18-34.