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Barsys CEO: Millennials, Gen Z Increasingly Buying Booze via Subscriptions

Barsys, alcohol, subscriptions

As eCommerce channels come to account for a greater share of total beer, wine and spirits sales, the founder and CEO of Barsys predicts that Generation Z and millennial consumers will purchase their alcoholic beverages via subscription service more and more.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Akshet Tewari, the chief executive at the consumer robotics and cocktail subscription company, which recently announced the launch of its personalized mixology subscription box, spoke to this shift.

“I think this subscription is going to be is the way forward, because for people — the millennials and Gen Z coming into picture — there’s a massive rise in experimentational drinking,” Tewari explained. “… Subscriptions are … going to be a big part of the spirits industry, especially when it comes to in-home bar consumption. They will provide consumers with access to cocktails that they would have not been able to make before.”

The brand’s subscription program, for its part, personalizes its offerings to consumers, matching them to recipes from creators to offer a “curated menu,” targeting both users of the company’s smart home device and of its app (of which 80% of users are not device owners).

Indeed, to Tewari’s point, younger consumers tend to do more of their shopping via subscription, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Replenish Economy: A Household Supply Deep Dive,” which drew from a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers in September.

The study found that 39% of millennial consumers reported using scheduled and auto-fill product subscriptions for most of or all their regularly used products in the previous six months. This share is significantly greater than the 31% of consumers overall that said the same. The report noted a similar trend among Gen Z shoppers, though to a lesser degree.

Moreover, The PYMNTS Intelligence report “The Impact of Subscription Models on Consumer Choice,” which drew from a survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers, found that millennials and Gen Z consumers are disproportionately likely to purchase multi-model subscriptions, holding a range of different retail subscription types. Plus, Gen Z consumers are the most likely to hold surprise box subscriptions.

As the beer, wine and spirits categories slowly digitize, Tewari is noting rising demand for speedy delivery as well as increased consumer interest in trying novel flavors.

In fact, alcoholic beverage subscribers are more likely than consumers with any other type of subscription to seek out the option to personalize the products in their subscription boxes, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence study “Subscription Commerce Readiness Report: The Loyalty Factor.”

Additionally, the rise of subscriptions in the beer, wine and spirits space, Tewari predicted, will gain more share from typical beer, wine and liquor stores than from away-from-home channels such as bars and restaurants. Yet he noted that the rise of subscriptions also presents an opportunity for bars and mixologists.

“Essentially, there’s going to be an evolution to the subscription model, and we’re very excited to see where it goes,” Tewari said. “ … If you’re a bar owner, … you suddenly have access to millions of consumers that you don’t have traditionally [through subscriptions].”