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Issue 37 Communities

To Sriracha, With Love

by Tosten Burks

June 14, 2016

Younger people spend differently than their elders—no shocker there. But the goods and services purchased by millennials reveal surprising insights about a changing world

Hot Sauce

Millennials in America enjoy spicy food more than any other age group, which food industry researchers attribute to increased diversity and childhood exposure to a wider variety of ethnic foods and spices. As a result, Sriracha is this generation’s favorite condiment. Multiculturalism is beautiful—and tasty.

Painkillers

Despite allegations of Adderall addiction, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that painkillers are the only type of drug used more by those born between 1983 and 2002 than members of previous generations when they were in their twenties. (Baby boomers took far more stimulants.)

Gasoline

The Uber generation spends proportionally more money on gas and motor oil than boomers did when they were 25-34, even though this age group owned far fewer cars in 2014 than in 1984. That budgetary burden may help perpetuate the downward shift in auto ownership.

Craft Beer

Young adults purchase beer more frequently than other types of alcohol, and more than any other age group, they’re buying craft. Market experts point to consumer desire for authenticity and exclusivity—not unexpected from a generation that grew up alienated from the means of production.

Social Security

The ultimate comeback to nagging parents: 25- to 34-year-olds spend approximately $500 more on pensions and Social Security per year than they did 30 years ago. You’re welcome, Mom.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

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To Sriracha, With Love