As a Millennial, I personally hate the “Millennials are killing (insert antiquated item here)” headline. It’s A) overdone, and B) encourages the Boomer hatred toward the generation. Here’s a hint, Nance: We can’t buy a house or move out of our parents’ house in a timely fashion because you screwed up the economy.
Rather than being caused by Millennials collectively deciding they want to ruin Boomers’ lives, these things have demised due to changing consumer tastes. Which — surprise — is a thing that’s happened in every generation.
Want to fight me on this, Jim? Go ahead, send that email you’re dying to troll me with. I’ll just do what all the other Millennials do — screenshot it and make fun of you on Twitter. 😝
Since the 1990s, the popularity of cereal has been declining, writes Kim Severson in a 2016 report in The New York Times. “Sales, which totaled $13.9 billion in 2000, dipped last year to about $10 billion,” writes Severson. This might be due to lessening interest in processed foods.
“Consumers overall are less interested in industrially processed grains as a meaningful start to their day,” Melissa Abbott of food research organization, The Hartman Group, told Severson. In addition, 40% of Millennials polled by Mintel in 2015 said cereal was “inconvenient.”
NEXT: Millennials are known for being overworked, but not for this.
Forty-eight percent of Millennials “think it is a good thing to be seen as a work martyr by the boss, far outpacing the average (39%), Gen Xers (39%), and Boomers (32%),” according to a 2016 report by Project: Time Off. “Work martyrs” are defined as those individuals that do not take their allotted time off.
They often feel guilty for doing so, as defined by Project: Time Off. Millennials often feel that they have the most to prove and least sense of security in a work environment, writes Jessica Stillman in a 2016 report in Inc. Therefore, less vacation time for us!
NEXT: And when they do take a vacation, Millennials are probably not going on one of these …
It seems like a given that older demographics dominate any cruise ship you step foot on. However, the Caribbean News Service reported the Cruise Lines International Association saying that the average age for a cruise ship passenger was 49 in 2014. Cruise ship companies realize they now face a generational challenge.
Some cruise ship companies are trying to appeal to a younger audience. For example, there was Carnival Cruise Line’s Fathom. This one ship line aimed to encourage “volunteerism and social support” and had lots of activities to appeal to a younger crowd. Alas, Fathom has since retired its philanthropic cruise ship.
NEXT: Activia? More like Activi-NOPE.
With the rising popularity of natural, protein-rich, filling snacks, the light yogurt sales have declined, reports Business Insider. “While light yogurt is on the decline, older households — particularly 65+ — are still buying more than their fair share of light yogurts,” Jordan Rost, of Nielsen, told Business Insider in 2016.
Declining U.S. yogurt sales have also been attributed to “too many yogurt options,” says a 2019 article in Eater. Eater reported marketing agency Acosta saying there’s a whopping 306 different kinds of yogurt out there … Is that truly necessary?
NEXT: Millennials are asking to hold this condiment when ordering a sandwich.
IMO, not a major loss because mayo is gross. (Sorry about it.) In any case, whether or not we should be adding this item to the “Millennials killed (insert random item here)” list has been argued over. Mayo sales have been on the decline for some time, reports Kate Taylor in a 2018 Business Insider article.
You mean Millennials might not be to blame for this one?! Gasp! Taylor cites a report from Euromonitor, which indicates mayo sales fell 6.7% between 2012 and 2017. Perhaps in an attempt to entice consumers, mayo prices dropped 0.6% from 2017 to 2018.
NEXT: Millennials made up 10% of consumers using these services.
6. Loyalty programs
Turns out that hotel loyalty programs might not be as big a deal nowadays. A paper from Hudson Crossing by travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt indicates that 40% of people that booked on a hotel site belong to an elite loyalty program. However, they’d still made nine other searches for hotels.
Those on a basic loyalty member program averaged 11 searches for hotels before booking. It’s unclear if Millennials in particular are not part of loyalty programs via Social Tables, but they’re definitely booking hotels less. Guests 18-23 make up about 10% of the U.S. population.
NEXT: Millennials prefer specialty and boutique gyms and studios to this.
7. Traditional gyms
Did you see all those #BoycottEquinox tweets? Well, Millennials were probably not so keen on that business to begin with. Multiple reports indicate that young consumers are more interested in seeking out specialty gyms that offer cycling, kickboxing, and yoga rather than traditional gyms with rows and rows of treadmills.
Millennials enjoy group activities, notes 2018: The Rollercoaster Ahead. Citing The 2017 International Fitness Industry Trend Report – What’s All the Rage, the report states group classes “were the fastest-growing activities over the past few years, as well as those with the highest adoption rates in 2017.”
NEXT: These suck and research proves it.
Napkins — who’s got ’em, who needs ’em? No one and no one! Sorry, Baby Boomers. Market research company Mintel discovered only 56% of consumers bought napkins within the last six months in March 2016. Eighty-six percent of survey participants said they bought paper towels. It makes sense — you can use them both for meals and cleaning.
Mainly, Millennials opt for paper towels at the dinner table. Napkins just aren’t an economical choice for many consumers, the survey indicates. Dan Nirenberg of consumer goods company Georgia-Pacific told The Washington Post, “It’s one less thing to buy.” Basically, napkins suck and research proves it.
NEXT: “Hello! I’m here! Can you open the door?”
OK, this one actually bothers me. (You win this time, Boomers.) I’ve had friends that are literally standing right outside my door, and call my cell to tell me, “Hey, I’m here!” without bothering to knock first. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done this, but for what I consider good reasons.
For example, if I’ve knocked 20 billion times but they still don’t hear me, if a door-knocking/doorbell instrument is nonexistent, or if I’m sitting in my car, waiting to pick them up. (I’m not going to take the 20 minutes needed to find a parking space, get out of my car, and walk to their door.)
NEXT: Millennials aren’t going to these — is it because they don’t feel lucky?
Millennials don’t visit casinos, nor gamble much, Caribbean News Service (CNS) reported industry publications saying. This generation is an important group to advertise to, says CNS — therefore, some tourism businesses in the Caribbean are trying to find new ways to appeal to them. So why do Millennials not like casinos?
Studies cited by CNS indicate that Millennials are looking for vacation experiences that are fuller than what casinos can offer. They also have values that don’t really align with gambling. For instance, wanting a degree of control over outcomes. That’s not really something casinos are known for …
NEXT: We’ll probably never have another show like Friends.
11. ‘Hangout sitcoms’
What’s a “hangout sitcom,” you ask? Refinery29 uses a typical episode of popular show Friends as an example: “It probably contains several scenes during which the gang gathers at Central Perk. They sling zings, banter back and forth, and just hang out with one another on the comfy couch and chairs.”
Apparently, Millennials are over these kinds of shows. Lauren Le Vine writes in Refinery29 that there are several reasons why we don’t see these types of shows anymore — technology and competition from many other networks being some reasons why.
NEXT: Millennials might not be the only ones to blame for the decline in this sport’s viewership.
An opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor indicated that the Millennial generation might be less interested in playing tackle football because of health risks. As revealed in a July 2019 report by Reveal podcast, concussions from high school football are a major risk. A high school athlete in Oregon found that concussions caught up with him.
His school had protocol in place to protect the student, Reveal explains, but that still didn’t stop him from getting hurt. NFL viewership has declined as well, but Business Insider indicates that might be due to the “taking a knee” controversy, and the 2016 election, among other things.
NEXT: Millennials might be “killing marriage,” but some argue that’s a good thing.
It’s been trending for Millennials to get married later in life, with some couples dating a long time before tying the knot. Erin Lowry, 28, told MarketWatch she and her partner had been dating for eight years before deciding to walk down the aisle. They wanted to be financially stable before doing that.
Couples that waited longer to get married were found to be happier, indicated an eHarmony study that MarketWatch cited in the same article. The unhappiest couples said they got married because “it was time.”
Mainstay brands like J.Crew might be impacted by the overall decrease in mall traffic and changes in consumer tastes. A seemingly opinion piece in NYLON indicates that Millennials have directly “killed” J.Crew. This may be due to Millennials’ reliance on the internet to inform style choices, argues author Kristin Iversen.
“Online shopping lends itself to easy and quick comparisons, meaning that Millennials are incredibly discerning in purchasing because they are adept at finding exactly what they want out of seemingly infinite options,” writes Iversen. Brands like Everlane and Reformation appeal more to young shoppers, the article indicates.
NEXT: First football, now this sport.
Interestingly, Anya Alvarez argues that “Millennials aren’t killing golf; golf is killing golf,” in a 2017 VICE article. “The sport is not only too expensive, it’s too old, too male, and too white,” writes Alvarez. Sure, there are some people that fit that category, but not everyone. Simply put, it’s not an accessible sport.
This is unlike running, where you just need a pair of running shoes, or basketball, where you just need a ball and a court. Whereas Alvarez noted she paid $100 for one round of golf. Few want to do that anymore.
NEXT: I don’t think it’s just Millennials that aren’t using these — it’s everyone, thanks to the convenience of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
“Millennials are slowing killing the DVR — which could go the way of the VCR,” reads a 2016 headline on IndieWire. Seems like a straightforward concept: New technology pops up, antiquated technology goes away. Older viewers were said to continue adopting the DVR, noted this 2016 article, but Millennials were becoming disinterested.
“According to CBS research, DVR usage by adults 18-49 — still the money demo targeted by advertisers — actually declined by six percent last season,” wrote Michael Schneider in IndieWire. Later Schneider notes Forrester Research called the DVR a “Generation X device.”
NEXT: Millennials and their beards are “killing” this industry.
As the Millennial generation became a bigger consumer demographic, those in the business of shaving devices noticed drops in sales. Manual razor and blade sales dropped 5.1% in the U.S., indicated a 2018 Maxim article. Gillette, a maker of razors, said its sales dropped 24%. Societal standards of shaving have changed, say experts.
“Today, men are not judged negatively when they skip a shave — it is not considered lazy or disrespectful,” Massimiliano Menozzi, VP of Gillette North America, was reported telling CNN via email. Could women-identifying individuals be turned off by the pink tax of razors, as well?
NEXT: Millennials cannot afford these abodes treasured by Baby Boomers.
The McMansion, a sprawling home with several thousand square feet, was once a symbol of prosperity leading up to the recession in 2008, says a 2017 report in Business Insider. It’s not considered the sound investment it used to be, the article continues. Perhaps all those images of foreclosed McMansions during the recession turned buyers off?
McMansions’ tacky architectural styles are now considered dated. There’s even a blog called McMansion Hell that rips into the architectural awfulness of some of these homes. Homebuyers now prefer quality over quantity, notes Business Insider.
NEXT: Here’s why Millennials aren’t down with “breastaurants.”
Where will you be able to see hooters, now? Truly a tragedy (that’s sarcasm, just in case you couldn’t tell), Hooters and other “breastaurant” chains like Twin Peaks have seen drops in sales. Apparently, there’s been a drop in searches for mammaries when people are looking for adult content. Perhaps that’s correlated to Hooters’ well-being?
There’s been a drop in the number of Hooters franchises open since 2012. As of 2018, there are 136 U.S. locations, compared with 206 in 2012. Other casual dining joints like Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Ruby Tuesday are also feeling the squeeze.
NEXT: Apparently Millennials have changed a major part of how our workdays are structured.
20. The 9-to-5 workday
Or did we just point out that it’s already dead? That’s the question Meghan M. Biro asks in Entrepreneur. Now the largest generation in the workforce, Millennials have put organizations that can’t prioritize flexibility and mobility on notice. Biro recommends that companies figure out what this generation actually wants in the workplace.
Millennials value balance, smart use of tech, and growth opportunities, indicates a survey from PwC cited in Biro’s Entrepreneur piece. It’s also noted that Millennials aren’t lazy as some Boomers might say. They’ll blend their personal and work lives to get the balance they seek.
NEXT: Like casinos, Millennials aren’t taking their chances with these either.
21. Lottery tickets
Gone are the good ol’ days of the office lottery pool in some places of work. One colleague at a past company I worked at back in the day used to have me scan the lotto ticket for the office pool because he didn’t know how to work the scanner. I don’t think anyone in that pool was a Millennial.
“Millennials are too busy killing napkins and fabric softener to buy lottery tickets, so the lottery industry is looking for new ways to attract the next generation of gambling addicts,” writes Zack Huffman in a 2017 VICE article.
NEXT: There are cheaper alternatives to this that Millennials (and others) take advantage of.
22. Movie theaters
“The number of ticket buyers ages 12 to 17 fell to 5.3 million in 2015, down from 5.5 million in each of the two previous years,” wrote Claire Atkinson in a 2016 NY Post article. Studio execs had been putting their heads together to figure out the “Millennial problem.”
Perhaps Millennials don’t want to come to the movie theater because some are charging $17 a ticket? That aside, execs thought that creating experiences one can’t get elsewhere (e.g., IMAX) or events letting moviegoers text during the film might be solutions, noted NY Post.
NEXT: What’s wrong with classic American cheese?
23. American cheese
“American cheese will never die. It has too many preservatives. But it’s melting away,” reads a 2018 Bloomberg article via TIME. Dairy is becoming less popular in general, but eateries still using cheese in their dishes are using “fancier cheeses.” Think asiago, “real cheddar,” fontina, Gouda, and more. What’s the deal with the change?
Overall, consumers are more health-conscious and trying to eat better. Many American cheeses contain too many unnatural ingredients and preservatives that turn off both Millennial consumers and those jumping on the health food train. The data shows it — mainstay processed cheese brand sales have declined.
NEXT: No one wants to risk owning a “blood diamond.”
The diamond industry has seen a slowing in sales, says CNBC’s Make It. There are several reasons why: 1) Millennials are getting married less, and if they do, they’re tying the knot later in their relationships. 2) They are choosing nontraditional rings instead of diamonds. 3) They value experiences over expensive things like diamonds.
4) Millennials are more hyperaware of “blood diamonds.” These come from countries with unsustainable mining practices, often wrought with poor labor and environmental regulations. Overall, Millennials are becoming more thoughtful consumers as we learn about problematic industries. *Smug face*
NEXT: Sorry, Generation X! We didn’t mean to. Please don’t hate us … 🙁
25. Gen X’s retirement
Generation X (also known as the “sandwich generation,” as they’re sandwiched between Millennials and Baby Boomers) hasn’t saved as much for retirement as they wanted. Citing a study from the Bank of Montreal, a 2015 Money.com article says, “45 to 65 have only saved an average 30% of what they expect to need for retirement.”
Apparently that’s just $291,297, versus their goal of $938,529. There’s a unique challenge this generation faces: longevity. People are living longer and having children later on in life. So, there are aging parents to take care of and children to care for.
NEXT: This might be related to the decrease in mall traffic, no?
26. Department stores
Department stores like Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart have fallen on tough times, not as valued by families as they once were. Sears has shuttered hundreds of stores and declared bankruptcy. Millennials are flocking to “fast fashion” stores like ZARA and H&M instead, says Business Insider. Also, they’re not spending as much on things.
Instead, Millennials want experiences, not more clutter to stuff into their tiny apartments. Values of young people have evolved. While having lots of stuff is considered valuable in the Baby Boomer mindset, plenty of Millennials value the memories they’ll get from a cool trip much more.
NEXT: Sales of this item have fallen 2.2% from 2014 to 2015.
27. Bars of soap
So, like various other industries on our list, sales of bars of soap have fallen 2.2% between 2014 and 2015. Millennials are to blame (again) according to a press release from company Mintel, cited by Business Insider. The release reads, “Almost half (48%) of all US consumers believe bar soaps are covered in germs after use.”
The press release continues, “A feeling that is particularly strong among consumers aged 18-24 (60%), as opposed to just 31% of older consumers aged 65-plus.” So Millennials aren’t a dirty bunch, we are just looking for better ways to get clean!
NEXT: Lunch sales fell 2% — is it because of this?
Fortune had reported that the restaurant industry saw a 2% drop in lunchtime traffic. Perhaps people are bringing lunch from home more often? Millennials are apparently more of the type to snack throughout the day instead of eating three main meals for food. Well, I’m not one of those so, great minds don’t think alike … ?
We live an on-the-go lifestyle, so snacking throughout the day probably works for some Millennials. In any case, the argument isn’t entirely clear in this whole “Millennials killing lunch ordeal.” Keep lunching, my friends!
NEXT: This item on the McDonald’s menu didn’t have the longevity the fast food empire hoped for.
29. The McWrap
This was an attempt to appeal to health-conscious crowds. The decision to remove the McWrap from McDonald’s menus had some customers flipping the HECK out. Take this tweet cited by Delish, for example: “@McDonalds really missing the Sweet Chili McWrap, please bring it back!! #gonebutnotforgotten.” I feel their pain — it’s a tragic, tragic incident.
McDonald’s tried to appeal to a young demo who are typically on a health kick, but it turns out they didn’t actually take to the new wraps — at least according to Bloomberg. Other analysts cited the long time it took to make the McWraps.
NEXT: From 2007 to 2015, sales of liquid fabric softeners fell 15%. Here’s why …
30. Fabric softener
Millennials “don’t even know what the product is for,” the Procter & Gamble‘s head of global fabric care was reported saying. In case you don’t know (don’t feel bad if you didn’t, I had to look it up), fabric softener is a sweet-scented liquid designed to make clothes feel nice after washing them.
“Sales of liquid fabric softeners fell 15% in the US from 2007 to 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported,” Business Insider wrote. “The market leader Downy fell 26% in the same period.” Looks like fabric softener companies are hurtin’! Maybe they should just dry their tears with some dryer sheets?
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