I read an article recently authored by Adrienne McIlvaine. In it she wrote, “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.”
McIlvaine went on to list all the industries, products and institutions Millennials are killing off.
The list includes:
• Canned Tuna - Canned tuna sales are on the decline, and companies are blaming their woes on Millennials. Big Tuna is feeling the heat after sustaining a nearly 40 percent decline over the last few decades.
I hope it doesn’t cease to exist. If it does, I’m not sure what I’m going to eat with my tomato soup Sunday nights.
• Beer - Millennials are turning their back on beer. Though the industry estimates it has lost about 10 percent of its market to other alcoholic beverages, it’s hard to pinpoint this generation’s lack of interest in beer on any one factor. Craft cocktails seem cool and sophisticated - especially compared to the traditionally masculine image of beer companies.
This doesn’t concern me. I don’t drink beer.
• Oil - The number of young people working at oil and gas companies has plummeted as young people wrestle with the industry’s toxic, capitalistic legacy.
I can’t wait to watch Millennials fly through the air in a solar-powered airplane.
• Football - Many Millennials can imagine a life without it – and that’s got a lot of people worried. It’s no secret football is dangerous, and millennial parents aren’t too eager to sign their kids up for a sport that can cause serious, permanent injuries and even brain damage. And kids aren’t begging their parents to play, either.
That’s okay with me … as long as there’s college football.
• Marriage - Millennials aren’t giving up on relationships entirely – they’re simply redefining it in their own way.
I can’t wait to see our society in another 20 years.
• Running - 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? A couple of things, actually. Millennials are more likely than baby boomers to choose noncompetitive fitness activities like yoga.
I never liked running for running’s sake. I like the advice of the Japanese doctor. Your heart only has so many beats. Why waste it on running?
• Golf - 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.
I think Millennials are more into “experience” golf, like going to Top Golf and eating Nachos and drinking beer, or whatever they drink nowadays. Back in the 80s and 90s I was part of a large group of 30 to 40 year olds who played golf at Rockport Country Club. I lost interest in the game several years ago, except for when my son-in-law is in town.
• Cereal - Some studies reported that Millennials were giving the cold shoulder to breakfast cereal because it takes too long to clean up. Other research suggests the real culprit is simply that Millennials are more concerned about eating nutritious, protein- and fiber-rich breakfasts.
All I can say is blasphemy!
• Gyms - 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.
I don’t do these for the same reason I don’t run. I get my exercise riding my wife’s Wave Runner.
• DVRs - 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.
All our tapes of the kids growing up are VHS. I think I’ll just let them convert them to whatever, if they want, after we’re gone.
• Razors - Chances are a man in his 20s or 30s today has a beard. That’s what has the razor industry feeling pretty defeated. Sales dipped more than five percent in 2018 alone as more men skipped one or more shaves a week.
I don’t like shaving, but do so whenever I go someplace nice with my wife.
• Mayonnaise - 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 scrambling for ways to appeal to younger consumers.
Even Mikey doesn’t like it (that should age you!).
• 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.
I’ve never known a 9-to-5 job.
• Motorcycles - Forget about the high price tag. Where do you store a motorcycle when you live at home with your parents? And where do you ride it? Millennials are more likely to view motorcycles as a form of transportation as opposed to an expensive hobby.
I bought a used motorcycle right out of college, drove it for a year, wasn’t killed, and sold it.
• Lottery Tickets - It’s no secret Millennials spend many hours on their phones playing games. 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.
I never got into video games, and don’t understand the addiction to them.
Other things included in the article included:
• Vacations – What’s that?
• Napkins – What do Millennials do, lick their fingers?
• Hooters – Never liked the food.
• Movie theaters – I sure miss ours in Rockport.
• Credit cards – I have to have my credit card, if only for the air miles!
• Starter homes – We owned two homes in 35 years of marriage. The first one we built and lived in for 29 years.
• Grocery stores – The thought of room service for groceries is appealing … and it would cost me a lot less in unneeded purchases.
• American cheese – Who can do without this?
• Retirement – Like vacations … what’s that?
• Diamonds – Bought only one, and it has meaning.
• Cars – I like to drive. Mine isn’t going away anytime soon.
• Department stores – I actually miss the days of going to the malls with my wife and daughters.
The bottom line is everything changes. Get used to it.
I’m sure my parents freaked out (if only silently) when I “had to have” an 8-track player!
Wasn’t AM/FM radio good enough?
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.