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Millennials are drinking more because they're having kids, Constellation Brands executive says

Key Points
  • Constellation Brands is seeing an uptick in the millennial generation's consumption of alcohol.
  • About three-quarters of millennials in the U.S. are consuming alcohol, it estimates.
  • Generation Z, those ages of 21 to 24, are consuming alcohol more slowly than millennials.
Constellation Brands product line.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Beer and wine producer Constellation Brands is seeing an uptick in the millennial generation's consumption of alcohol and, according to a company executive, that's in part thanks to one specific reason.

"When you said the millennials are drinking more, I'm like: That's because they have kids," Barclays analyst Lauren Lieberman said.

Lieberman made the comment somewhat jokingly during a discussion with Constellation Brands CFO David Klein, who was speaking with Lieberman at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference on Wednesday.

"Well, I think that's exactly the answer," Klein responded.

He cited Constellation's research on millennials to back up his broader thesis: The company found that in 2013, millennials consumed about 24 alcoholic drinks per month. By this year, that number has climbed to about 29 per month – with about 77% of all millennials in the U.S. consuming alcohol, according to Klein.

"What we don't know though is will we see that same thing with Gen Z as they age, will they — will life get more stressful for them and they drink a little more? But it's too early to tell, but we definitely have seen that with millennials," Klein said.

Klein added that Generation Z, ages 21 to 24, are consuming alcohol "slightly more slowly" than millennials did.

"I think what we have is people saying that they're drinking less or drinking better, but that's really driving people into trends like Corona Premier and seltzer and Mic Ultra, and brands like that," Klein saId.

Twitter user @bluff_capital first noted the exchange on Thursday.

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