5 industries that are booming thanks to Millennials

From napkins to golf, department stores to cruises, Millennials are regularly blamed for ‘killing’ industries that don’t reflect their tastes and needs. However, the reality is that Millennials are making a healthy contribution to the economy - they simply like to spend their money differently to previous generations.


So, in the run-up to the world’s biggest youth marketing festival, let’s take a positive look at the industries with a bright future ahead thanks to Millennials.

Public transportation

There are several reasons that Millennials use more public transport than their parents’ generation. Firstly, due to the cost of living, including the cost of buying and running a vehicle, they simply can’t afford it. Although public transport costs are also rising, overall it remains a more affordable option. Secondly, Millennials prefer cities to suburbs, which means public transport is a quicker and more efficient mode of transports. And finally, they care about the environment, and would prefer not to contribute to pollution and global warming by travelling in individual vehicles.

Adult learning

Millennials value knowledge and skill development, whether to boost their job prospects or find fulfilment through a hobby they love. 87% of Millennials say professional development is important to their job, and they’re also aware of the link between learning and happiness. From language apps like Duolingo to YouTube tutorial videos, Millennials are happy to spend their free time on educational pursuits. They’ll spend money on online courses and in-person classes, learning skills from coding to pottery, salsa dancing to public speaking.

Soft drinks

The cliché of young people binge drinking is out of date, as research has shown that Millennials are ditching alcohol for soft drinks for health and financial reasons. The trend has been encouraged by a growing range of appealing non-alcoholic drinks, such as low calorie, sugar-free sparkling water. Products such as LaCroix have grown from hipster to mainstream appeal in the US, while every UK supermarket or corner shop stocks drinks from YMS London speakers Innocent. Brands such as Bottlegreen and San Pellegrino make going tee-total more fun at a restaurant or bar.


Beauty vloggers, Instagram trends, innovative products and cool new brands are among the factors driving growth in the cosmetics industry. Some of the companies that have expanded vastly in recent years include Ulta Beauty, Smashbox and Sephora, while stocks in more established brands such as Estée Lauder and L’Oreal have reached record highs. Research firm NPD found that Millennials are buying and using 25% more cosmetics than they did just two years ago and significantly more than Baby Boomers.

Air travel

Young people may be passionate about the environment, but that hasn’t stopped them contributing to the massive growth in demand for air travel. Cheap flights have made international travel accessible for people at lower income levels, while the more affluent Millennials now take an average of five holidays per year. They are splurging on more expensive trips, as the possibility of buying a house seems so distant and unachievable that saving seems pointless. This might spell trouble for the housing market, but the travel industry is quids in.


Get tips from some of the biggest and best brands in the youth marketing space at our upcoming event, YMS London. Subjects will include rebranding for an aesthetically led Millennial audience and how brands can engage Millennials with innovative content.