As generations keynote speakers, we’re often asked to take a closer look at future trends and how Generation Y (Millennials), Gen Z, and Gen Alpha’s habits are changing. Having recently done some market research for providers in the hospitality, travel, and food and beverage spaces, here are some snapshots. Note that some generational groupings (e.g. Millennials), because of the breadth of time they cover, actually encompass audiences of a number of different ages with different cultural reference points into one grouping. Bearing this in mind, as any generations keynote speaker or trends expert would be remiss if they didn’t remind you, it pays to remember: Individuals can often greatly in their interests and habits, even inside of a single generation, which is why it always pays to do your homework first.

Millennials prize experiences, adventures, and trying new and original things above familiar options – and they’ll line-up by the dozens to hit themed bars, guzzle down quirky and offbeat drinks, and grab striking images or videos to post to social networks like TikTok or Instagram. For example, pop-up bars inspired by TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, and themed destinations (e.g. restaurants with food or drink keyed to the Christmas holiday) are often popular.


– Interestingly though, at the same time, a lot of members of Gen Y are also more comfortable staying in, drinking at friends’ homes, and saving toasts for special occasions – it’s hard to envision just how much of a lifestyle that brunches and holidays like Galentine’s Day have become for singles until you hit major metropolitan areas like New York and Washington DC.


– Both Gen Z and Gen Y are also paying more attention to concepts such as wellness, nutrition, and self-care too – and are increasingly concerned with what they’re putting in their bodies. As such, they’re often looking for healthier and more natural alternatives to traditional beverage and food options – I highly recommend having a look at the strategies employed by spots like Silver Diner, a chain providing locally-sourced and low-calorie options on the east coast, if you get a second.


– Gen Alpha, like members of Gen Y and Gen Zers,  are also constantly looking for new and exciting products in every shape, form, and size, especially those with a visually-striking look, quirky theme, and/or compelling backstory.


– Folks in all of these age groups – especially Millennials – likewise favor unique, craft, and custom spirits and beverages of all kinds – and want to discover new drinking and dining options that are tailor made for building social cachet through sharing w friends and family online.

Simply put, there’s a massive and widespread culture that’s sprung up around informed consumption and both beverages and dining experiences that stand out from the norm. And everyone wants to be a trendsetter these days – including members of Gen Alpha on up to older generations, who have increasing FOMO (or fear of missing out on what’s hot and new) or not staying up to date with the changing times.