Anyone born between 1981 and 1996— aka millennials— can recall some of the many products they simply "had to have." For this group of people, certain appliances, cereal brands and traditions, were deemed essential. But the products that are deemed essential to have now, like phone cases, app subscriptions and streaming services, didn't exist a few decades ago.
Somewhere along the line, these old-fashioned fads went the way of the dinosaurs and younger audiences may be using their all mighty dollar to put these things out of business. So, we’re taking a look at these formerly essential things millennials no longer deem important.
They Think Cereal is Inconvenient
According to a survey conducted by the New York Times, approximately 40 percent of millennials find cereal to be a major inconvenience because it requires too much clean up and putting the box of cereal away. And clearly, this is just too time consuming when they’re in a rush first thing in the morning.
Millennials Are Not Onboard With Cruises
Who can say no to a relaxing trip aboard a cruise ship? Apparently, millennials can. It seems that less and less young people are interested in a vacation on the open seas and prefer to try something on land like hiking, or choosing shorter activities like golfing.
Business Suits Don’t Suit Them Anymore
Business suits might have been a thing back in the day, but these days, millennials prefer a more “business casual” look as opposed to a suit and tie. So, it looks like casual Fridays are no longer necessary since it’s casual Friday every day.
Landlines are Rare
Millennials don’t have home phones anymore, at least most of them don’t. That’s thanks in part to the popularity of cell phones. But there are still some cable and internet companies that will offer customers a landline free of charge.
Marriage is No Longer a Priority
Back in the 1980s, approximately two-thirds of marriages included the 25-34 age group. But millennials are choosing to stay single or remain in a committed relationship without getting hitched. Unfortunately, this has affected businesses that make a living from wedding-related businesses like bridal shops and wedding planners.
They’re Saying No to Stilettos
Stilettos might be fashionable, but they’re a pain to wear for long periods of time. So, millennials are no longer willing to go through back and foot pain to look good and are instead opting for more comfortable footwear like sneakers and flip-flops.
They Don’t Care About the Lottery
Given the increase in unemployment and lay-offs, one would think that there would be more millennials trying their luck with the lottery. But this generation doesn’t seem as eager to throw their money away on the slim chance of winning the jackpot as they used to be.
They’re Not Paying for Cable Anymore
Millennials are spending less money on cable subscriptions and investing on streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu to watch their favorite movies and shows. Why? Because they can watch whatever they want whenever they want as opposed to waiting for something to air.
Department Stores are Fading Away
Millennials used to flock to department stores in herds day in and day out. But these days, many of them are choosing to buy their clothing, shoes, makeup, furniture and whatnot online. And it’s easy to see why given that they can shop any day and at any time, completely from home.
Cars are No Longer a Priority
Millennials aren’t as obsessed with buying cars as they used to be. And since they don’t need cars anymore, they’re not getting their driver’s licenses either. On the plus side, fewer cars means less spending on gas, which is a total budget booster.
Mayo is So Yesterday
People once used mayo as a spread for their sandwiches and it’s still an essential addition in dishes like a tuna fish mixture. But millennials are a bit more health conscious these days and are opting for healthier alternatives like almond butter, pesto, mashed avocado and olive oil.
They Prefer Catered Gyms
In lieu of a traditional gym that’s full of workout machines and equipment, millennials are opting for gyms that cater to specific interests such as CrossFit, Pilates, yoga and martial arts. As a result, memberships at old fashioned gyms have taken a serious dive.
Buying a New Home Is Less Common
It used to be everyone’s goal to buy a house as soon as they graduated college and landed a decent paying job. But the cost of buying a home and being locked into a mortgage is one reason millennials that are saying no to buying.
Life insurance might seem like a good idea, but most millennials can’t afford it because they’re too busy struggling to make ends meet. So, they’re not as interested in getting it as young people used to be a few decades ago.
Doorbells Are No Longer Ringing
There’s a reason why millennials are no longer using doorbells anymore, and it’s thanks to cell phones. With today’s smartphones, people are able to send a text or call their friends and loved ones to let them know they’re at the front door. And if young people are opting for door bells, they tend to choose ones that have a camera built into it.
They’re Ironing Out Irons
Ironing a shirt or a dress might have been a necessity for work or a date back in the day, but millennials are finding it easier to live without an iron in the house. But that doesn’t mean that people are walking around with wrinkly clothes. They just prefer to buy clothing that have wrinkle-free materials.
Millennials Are Not Lovin’ McDonald’s
Although McDonald’s golden arches once attracted millions of wayward travelers and locals to their restaurants, millennials are not heading to McD's as much as they used to. Instead, they’re opting for places that offer healthier options and allow customers to customize their orders, like Chipotle and Sweetgreen.
Domestic Beers Are Losing Fizz
While domestic beer brand names like Budweiser are commonly jam-packed in people’s fridges during the holidays or on special events like someone’s birthday, millennials are opting for iced tea, water, or even healthy fruit drinks to quench their thirst.
Napkins Are No Longer Trendy
About 10 to 20 years ago, millennials invested in napkins for the dinner table. But in today’s world, only 4 out of 10 homes use cloth or paper napkins. But they do use paper towels often to wipe their mouths and hands clean.
They’re Saying No to Bulk Groceries
One of the reasons people find stores like Costco to be so convenient is that they get to buy items in bulk at a more affordable price than at conventional supermarkets. But since millennials are eating out more and cooking less, they’re wasting less cash on food at the grocery store.
Postcard Sales Are Flatlining
It wasn’t that long ago that people bought about 20 million postcards a year. But now, people are sending fewer and fewer postcards by mail every year since they are now able to use e-mail or social media to communicate more quickly.
Movie Theaters Aren’t as Popular
Oh, sure! People still go to movie theaters when a major blockbuster hits the silver screen. But millennials would prefer to pop their popcorn in the microwave and digitally stream a movie at home for a fraction of the price in the comfort of their own living room as opposed to getting dressed and going out.
Meat is the New Enemy
The days when millennials enjoyed a nice medium rare steak appear to be over. Now, they prefer a vegetarian or vegan alternative for a couple of reasons. Not only is it reportedly healthier, but millennials find that it’s a more ethical alternative.
They’re Saying No to Regular Milk
Non-fat, whole, two-percent, soy, oat, almond and coconut milk are just some of the dairy product choices millennials are choosing over regular milk. The reason for this is that many of these more modern products are healthier and better for the environment.
They’re Saying No to Fabric Softener
Although the purpose of fabric softener is in the name itself, millennials still aren’t convinced that this popular laundry product serves the purpose it advertises. So, they’re opting to do their laundry with just detergent and nothing else.
Diamonds Are Not a Millennial’s Best Friend
Along with a decline in marriages among young people has come a decline in diamond sales, even by those who are choosing to get hitched. More Millennials are choosing unique stones or secondhand options for their wedding bands because diamond mining practices may be unethical.
The Stock Market is Shrinking
The stock market reached a high of stocks in 1998, with a record number of 7,562 stocks available to trade. Since then, that number has shrunken to just 3,812 stocks available, proving that younger people and their businesses no longer think highly of the route of investing, which may be due in part to the financial crisis of 2008.
Hotels Have Been Replaced By Airbnb’s
Young people have changed the vacationing habits of their parents by choosing to live more authentically when they vacation, instead of taking a trip like a tourist. Millennials choose Airbnb locations when they travel so they can have all the amenities of home when they’re abroad.
Golf Isn’t a Hole In One
The sport of golf used to be a popular pastime for many adults, but the younger generation today feels that the sport is old fashioned and boring. Also, the price of golf equipment just doesn’t suit the budget of many Millennials who would rather spend that money on more versatile athletic gear.
Bar Soap is a No Go
If you spend some time at a young persons’s home or apartment, you’ll typically see more liquid soap available than bar soap. Why is that? Some Millennials believe that bar soap collects more germs, and they prefer liquid soaps for both face washing and hand washing.
Eating Out Isn’t Normal Anymore
Going out to a casual restaurant with your friends or family might have been popular ten years ago, but with the recent arrival of food delivery apps like Postmates, Uber Eats and DoorDash, young adults have said goodbye to indoor dining. That is leaving restaurants like Applebee’s, Olive Gardena and Red Robin to plummet in sales.
Normal Fast Food Fare is Unpopular
Back in the day, no one would think twice about ordering a Big Mac at the drive through, but young people today want to know exactly what is in the food they eat, so many fast food meals are seeing steep declines in sales. That is one reason why huge chains like Burger King are adding vegan options to their menus to try to win health conscious customers back.
New Designer Clothing Loses Over Thrifting
Millennials love to show off their luxury and designer items on Instagram and other social media sites, but they prefer to buy them at heavily discounted prices. They do so by scouring online reselling sites and physical thrift stores to find used designer clothes at a fraction of the price.
Corks In Wine Are Just Unnecessary
It’s always a sad moment when someone realizes that they have a bottle of wine, but no corkscrew to open it with. That’s why Millennials are more often choosing to purchase wine bottles with screw-off tops as opposed to traditional corked bottles.
Motorcycles Are Loosing Sales to Scooters
Motorcycles are a pretty expensive, and dangerous, form of transportation that just don’t seem like a logical purchase for many young adults. And the upkeep of these vehicles can sometimes be just as expensive as the vehicle itself, making cheap scooters seem like the better option for frugal Millennials.
Furs Are a Thing of the Past
According to the Fur Information Council of America, one in five women across all age groups own a piece of fur clothing, and that number is steadily declining. Most Millennials see buying fur as unethical, and opt for other luxury clothing items instead.
Electronic Instruments Are Changing the Sound of Music
Many Millennials own a physical instrument like a guitar or piano, with many Millennial men citing musical instruments to be the most valuable object in their procession. But the popularity of digital sound systems and electronic music making software has become a more popular way of making music that can instantly be uploaded on music streaming services.
Printers And Other Office Equipment Are Better Left at Work
Fax machines aren’t often a very popular home purchase, but millennials are also buying fewer printers for their homes, which may make doing paperwork like taxes a serious hassle for young adults who work from home. This fact also showcases just how much of modern working life is done entirely digitally.
Taxis Are Way Too Expensive
Taxis and public transit used to be the only possible modes of transportation for those without a car who needed to get where they’re going. With the introduction of apps like Uber and Lyft, which are usually much cheaper than traditional taxi services, the classic yellow cab business fell quickly and steadily over the years.
Wedding Invitations Are Digital Now
Millennials have long preferred to keep their communications digital with email and text over letter writing, but even the most important communications have found a way into the cyber world. Many couples now offer online RSVPs that can digitally send their guests to a personalized wedding site and electronic registry.