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Grey Goose Vodka: Younger drinkers challenge brands to be creative as America drinks less

Anjalee Khemlani
Senior Reporter

Thanks to the holidays, the $44 billion spirits industry does 40% of its business in December.

Still, recent consumer trends are making Americans drink less. These include healthier drinking habits and shifting preferences of younger consumers, which are getting increasingly choosy about what they imbibe.

But Bacardi-owned Grey Goose Vodka, doesn’t feel the changes affect its business negatively. In fact, the company sees the opposite amid proliferating niche alcoholic beverages, and other legacy brands rushing to reinvent themselves.

“These younger consumers want to know what they drink, what they put in their bodies— they are interested in the ingredients that go into it,” Martin De Dreuille, vice president of global brand at Grey Goose, told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.

Grey Goose remains a premium quality brand, and younger consumers’ are an ideal target, the executive told YFi AM. Yet De Dreuille said it has to do a good job of crafting its messaging and advertising to that audience.

“Another thing we see with our young consumers is they are much more educated on their palette and curious than the older generation,” he explained. “So with the variety of cocktail options we have we can satisfy the different needs and desires.”

Sep 2, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Honey Deuce grey goose signature cocktails for sale on day eight of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Millennials are consuming more distilled spirits, especially higher-end products. But whiskey tends to be the most popular, growing at about 6% in sales in 2018; meanwhile vodka saw less than 2% growth, compared with the previous year.

De Dreuille put it bluntly when asked if the company sees the need, as other beverage companies have done, to diversify and pursue different types of products: No.

“There is a diversity in the repertoire of drinks that the younger consumer would choose from, with a brand like Grey Goose in the vodka category in general, its the most versatile spirit,” he argued.

Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem

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