Home Lifestyle Things That Are Disappearing Because Millennials Refuse To Buy Them

Things That Are Disappearing Because Millennials Refuse To Buy Them

Darren June 13, 2023

Every generation sees massive changes from the one that came before. It’s simply the way of the world. However, millennials are revolutionizing society because they have a different mindset and more advanced technology. That’s good on the surface, but there is another consequence of this kind of advancement. There are many items and common practices that are disappearing because millennials refuse to buy them.

Millennials are more aware of their impact on the environment so that’s one reason why things are changing. Economic factors and a shift in values also had a massive role. Meanwhile, advances in technology, particularly with cell phones, mean that we have infinite possibilities at our fingertips. Because of these factors, certain things in life that were once staples are now becoming obsolete. Check out the things that are disappearing because millennials refuse to buy them here.

Department Stores

Shopping malls and department stores became massively popular in the US in the 1950s. Since then they’ve been a mainstay in American society but they’re slowly disappearing. The classic department store that sells everything is on the way out because millennials refuse to buy from them (via Travel Channel).

JC Penney

The reason is evident because online shopping is so convenient. They can find whatever they want on marketplaces like Amazon or choose products on individual brand websites. It’s much more convenient than wandering around a store and trying to find something. Department stores could become a thing of the past sooner than later.


Newspaper sales have plummeted since the explosion of the Internet. Everybody has a cellphone now and they can read a news story without spending extra money. They don’t want to thumb through the awkward pages of the New York Times or waste paper. That’s why sales have seen a 25 percent drop in the last couple of years.

AP News

Cable news is also facing severe threats because most people stream now. Furthermore, the Internet allows people to broadcast live news through their phones. We can see what’s happening without the need for a big camera crew. This industry is changing because millennials refuse to buy papers or watch TV (via Pew Research).


It seems like millennials have a vendetta against a classic household appliance. Irons were a mainstay in every American home because nobody wanted to look like a wrinkled bedsheet in the office. But these days we wear different materials that don’t crease as easily. That’s why most younger people don’t iron their everyday clothes.

Embassy Cleaners

As a result, iron sales are experiencing a sharp decline. The only time men are using them is when they realize they have to go to a wedding or an interview. Then they panic and try to find an iron to borrow to solve the problem. Some of them just buy a new shirt because they can’t be bothered with the hassle when they barely wear them (via Good Housekeeping).

Light Yogurt

This may seem like a weird inclusion because millennials are very health-conscious people. But the statistics don’t tell lies and the reality is that light yogurt sales are in freefall. That’s because they prefer options like Greek yogurt that have a higher protein content. They want more from their products than a good flavor (via Eat This).

Surrey Live

Greek yogurt has more calories than its counterpart but crucially it has less sugar. Meanwhile, the protein content makes it appealing to a more physically-active society. There are also popular options like Iceland’s Skyr yogurt and the famous Bulgarian yogurt. These are more interesting to millennials than plain old light yogurt.


Diamonds are no longer a girl’s best friend because millennial women don’t want bloodstained gemstones on their bodies. This generation is more conscious of ethical issues including diamond mining. The industry is brutal and takes advantage of laborers who work in horrific conditions (via Grey Journal).


Many people died as a result of the diamond industry. Now technology has revolutionized diamond trading because it’s possible to artificially create stones. Natural diamonds are declining in popularity because these new ethical stones are cheaper. It’s a win-win situation for diamond lovers because they can get beautiful stones for less money.


Everybody used to send postcards to their friends and family when they went on vacations. There’s nothing like jealousy when receiving one from a sunny destination. It didn’t matter that they rarely arrived before the vacationers returned home. But now millennials refuse to buy them for other people (via Travel + Leisure).

Travel + Leisure

Instead, they use Instagram as a storyboard to share their lifestyles. Some millennials do buy postcards but they prefer to keep them as a souvenir for themselves. That’s why they’re less popular today than before. It will reach the stage where nobody will bother posting anything to anybody because it’s too inconvenient.

Canned Tuna

Documentaries like Netflix’s Seaspiracy didn’t do the canned tuna industry any favors. Many millennials refuse to buy the former staple for ethical reasons. They don’t want to support the cruel practice that often kills dolphins and porpoises too. Instead, they prefer ahi tuna in poke bowls because this guarantees higher-quality meat (via Michelin).

Eat This

Millennials recognize that the world is in a perilous state and that it’s time to secure the future of the planet. That’s why they’re also cutting back on consuming foodstuffs with palm oil or cow by-products. The range of ethical and delicious alternatives is constantly increasing so we’re not losing out.

Designer Clothes

Younger people refuse to buy designer clothes because fashion is changing. There’s a difference in perspective because they’re less concerned about having the most expensive clothing. Instead, they’d like to have a unique look that nobody else has. That’s why more of them are turning to thrift and vintage stores instead of high-street brands.


There’s also an ethical reason why they’re not buying designer clothes. In short, fast fashion is terrible for the environment. Some brands notoriously produce ridiculous amounts of clothes each year. They also exploit cheap labor in developing countries and this is unforgivable (via Global Citizen).


There was a time when motorcycles represented excitement on wheels. But now we’re aware that the world is on fire and we must bring down our carbon footprints. That’s why fewer people are buying big gas-guzzling motorcycles than before. Instead, they’re opting for city-friendly mopeds (via Hot Cars).


It’s also extremely expensive to insure a large motorcycle like a Harley-Davidson. This makes it impossible for millennials to buy them because it’s out of their budget. Most of them would prefer to own a van and travel around the U.S. instead of a big bike. Once again, it shows that values are shifting.

The Stock Market

It felt like Wall Street was the place to be in the 1980s and ’90s if people wanted to get rich quickly. Many movies glamorized their lifestyle and the profits that wealthy stock market investors made. But the reality is quite different and the global financial crash didn’t help public perceptions.

NBC News

Nowadays, millennials refuse to buy stocks but invest in other areas. They prefer to focus on the equity market as well as commodities like real estate or art. Meanwhile, we saw the short rise and fall of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Some people lost their savings because they didn’t know what they were doing (via Investors.com).

Soap Bars

Every household had several bars of soap in their bathroom or kitchen. But now we rarely see them in public places because people don’t think they’re as convenient as liquid soap. They prefer to squeeze the amount they want from a tube or bottle instead of having a messy bar of soap (via Clean Cult).

Bee Clean Soaps

Millennials refuse to buy them and think that they’re more hygienic. But this isn’t the case because soap bars do the same job but have fewer chemicals than liquid soaps. However, the upside of their liquid counterparts is that they offer superior moisturizing. They also have a wider variety of scents than traditional bars.

Full Turkeys

Millennials care more about efficiency than their forefathers. It doesn’t matter if something is traditional because they’ll change it if they think it’s inconvenient. That’s the reality of the modern age and it’s affecting holidays like Thanksgiving. Fewer young people buy full turkeys because they take too long to cook (via The Pioneer Woman).

The Pioneer Woman

Meanwhile, they don’t want to eat turkey for a week when they have excessive leftovers. Another reason is that many millennials are becoming vegetarians or vegans so they don’t want to eat meat. Full turkey sales are on the decline as consumers buy smaller cuts. But some families will always have a full bird no matter what.

Breakfast Cereal

This one will confuse people because they think breakfast cereal is still very popular. That’s true to a point but we’ll come back to that later. The reality is that fewer millennials are eating traditional sugary cereals in the morning. Trends show that healthier options like oatmeal, granola, and avocado toast are replacing them.


However, this doesn’t mean that millennials have given up on breakfast cereal completely. Many of them continue to enjoy them but eat them as a snack throughout the day instead. Several brands realize this and now market themselves in this way. It’s smart of them because they want to retain their business (via Healthshots).

Football Viewership

There are several reasons why millennials aren’t watching football matches on cable TV. First, they refuse to buy cable subscriptions when they commit to streaming services. It’s also possible to watch games illegally online even if it’s not an ethical practice so more viewers may be doing this. But there are a couple of other reasons why millennials are not watching football.


Now everybody knows that football players risk long-term traumatic brain injuries when they step onto the field. It’s hard to support college or NFL athletes putting themselves in harm’s way for our entertainment. Meanwhile, social activists like Colin Kaepernick also changed perceptions of the sport (via The US Sun).

Bulk Groceries

Previous generations used to fill their cars’ trunks up when they went to the grocery store. They did a week’s worth of shopping at once but this practice is increasingly obsolete. Millennials refuse to buy so much food because they don’t think it’s necessary. Instead, they’ll order online and get what they need for a couple of days.


It’s worth noting that many millennials don’t have cars so it’s more challenging to bulk-buy groceries. More people live in apartments now too and this restricts their storage space. They also don’t see the point of buying too many groceries because they may go bad quickly (via Real Simple).

Plastic Bottles

It won’t shock anybody that plastic bottles aren’t as popular these days. Everybody knows that they have a horrific impact on the environment and that’s why they’re going out of fashion. Many people bring reusable bottles with them to school or the office. They also think that they’re more hygienic and contain less chemicals.


Increasing numbers are also using refillable flasks for coffee chains like Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. Some of these offer benefits if customers bring their flasks like points for free coffees. This benefits the customer, the business, and the environment. Hopefully, more people take responsibility and use these options (via The Guardian).

Casual Dining

The casual dining sector is in a profound state of crisis. Restaurants are reevaluating their business models in a changing landscape. Several factors are forcing them to adapt to new consumer trends. These days increasing numbers of diners prefer to order takeout and this is severely impacting businesses.

Restaurant Hospitality

They hire waiting staff and have many overheads to pay. If they don’t fill the restaurant it’s difficult to pay their workers. Meanwhile, the global health crisis made people lazier. Now they’re used to food coming to them and don’t want to be outside. Casual dining is quickly evolving to casual fast dining (via Matthews.com).


Everybody once dreamed of staying in a fancy hotel because it was the best option. But now there are a variety of other choices including Airbnb and couch-surfing. Millennials refuse to buy expensive hotel rooms because they don’t see the value. They’d prefer to rent an apartment for their vacation.


The benefit is that they have more independence and can come and go easily. However, it often has a negative influence on the housing market in popular cities. That’s why some governments restricted Airbnb and prevented long-term leases. But it remains a popular choice for younger people (via Kayak).

Business Suits

Working cultures have changed significantly over the past couple of decades. There are more start-ups than ever and the tech sector has a massive influence. Nobody ever sees Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie. The reality is that people are avoiding wearing business suits unless it’s mandatory.

Luxe Digital

Lawyers, executives, and bankers typically don suits but other sectors no longer require them. In the past, educators like college professors and school teachers wore them but many prefer more casual wear. Some people wish that workers cared more about their image but it shows a changing attitude in society (via Luxe Digital).

Cable TV

No doubt this was one of the first things that people thought of when they opened this article. Cable TV viewership is facing some cold and hard truths because the networks are in danger. Millennials refuse to buy cable TV subscriptions because they want to stream instead. The likes of Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Apple TV are dominating.

The Nation

Even news networks are struggling because of the rise of social media. Twitter forced them to adapt to short clips and soundbites because many young people receive their news from the platform. Change is inevitable but they didn’t expect such an unpredictable and rapid development (via The Nation).

American Cheese

Who doesn’t love a grilled sandwich with some good old-fashioned American cheese? It turns out that millennials are turning their backs on one of the most iconic American food staples. Most people will think it’s because they want to be healthier but that’s not true. Cheese remains popular but millennials refuse to buy the American version.

Reader’s Digest

Instead, they’re turning to foreign-style cheese like Brie and cheddar. This is because they are usually higher quality with stronger flavors. Indeed, this may not be to everybody’s taste but it’s the new direction. American cheese sales are gradually decreasing because the demand isn’t the same (via Reader’s Digest).


A combination of reasons means that millennials aren’t taking out mortgages anymore. Firstly, many of them can’t afford to buy properties in big cities like New York or L.A. It’s impossible to save enough money to convince a bank to lend that amount of money. But they work in these urban areas so they need to live there.


This is a negative and it’s outside of their control. Changing values also affect mortgages because some potential buyers don’t want to stay in one place. They prefer the freedom of the rental market because they may change jobs shortly. It’s a different attitude but one that’s slowly becoming more mainstream (via Lancor).

The Drive-Through

Americans loved drive-throughs for decades but now they’re experiencing a massive drop in popularity. That’s because millennials don’t drive as much as their predecessors. They prefer to take public transport instead of dealing with all of the expenses of owning a car. Drive-throughs are one casualty of this recently-developing trend.


Meanwhile, it’s so easy to order food these days that people never think of going to a drive-through. Why go to a fast-food chain when we can make it come to us at a click of a button? They still exist and are useful for drivers on long journeys but they’re no longer in their heyday (via Newsweek).

Luxury Cruises

Boomers dreamed of going on luxury cruises around the world. It seemed like paradise because they could see exotic locations while gorging themselves on delicious food. But millennials refuse to pay for cruises because they’d prefer a more authentic experience. Many of them prefer backpacking on a dime through small countries or going on retreats.

The Points Guy

Younger people are conscious of their carbon footprint. Flying is bad enough but cruise ships are incredibly bad for the environment and pollute the oceans. They also hate the thought of sharing a gigantic ship with thousands of people. Now they’d sooner experience local culture in South East Asia.

Cow’s Milk

Imagine going into a Starbucks 10 years ago and asking for a soy or almond milk latte. This would likely have confused the server because they weren’t common then. But now many people are drinking plant-based milk for a combination of reasons. The first is ethical because they’re vegan or they hate the dairy industry.


Meanwhile, others like plant-based milk because they have lactose intolerance. Plant-based milk often digests better and is lighter. Oat milk is a very popular option in coffee as a replacement for cow’s milk. It seems like it’s here to stay because many customers refuse to buy the traditional option (via Parents).

Fabric Softener

Progress is a wild thing because it affects many things that we never think about. For example, who thought that the fabric softener industry would suffer from change? The reality is that regular clothing cleaning products are better than they were before. Now millennials refuse to pay for softeners because they don’t see the need.

New Africa

Higher-quality soaps are available these days and this means that consumers don’t have to buy fabric softener. They can save an extra few dollars per week. This can go a long way over a year. It’s also one less thing for people to think about. Welcome to the new age because everything is streamlined (via Real Simple).


Mayonnaise was one of the classic tastes of America but it has suffered a stark decline in popularity. They refuse to buy the iconic condiment because they think it’s disgusting. It’s indeed one of the unhealthiest things that people can buy because it’s a combination of oil and eggs.

Taste of Home

Immigrants brought mayo with them from Europe and it helped disguise the taste of bland or aging food. But now the U.S. is incredibly multicultural with many more exciting options. Millennials prefer condiments like gochujang or teriyaki sauce instead of old-fashioned mayonnaise (via Philly Mag).

The Lottery

Boomers dreamed of winning the lotto and spent hundreds of dollars on tickets. They hoped that one day they’d get millions of dollars and live the high life. But now millennials refuse to buy them because they think they’re a waste of money. It’s an old-fashioned concept that’s falling out of favor (via Capable Wealth).

Reader’s Digest

These days no young people buy regular lottery tickets because money isn’t easy to come by. They recognize that the chances of winning are slim to none. It’s better to save those dollars for a cup of coffee instead. Yes, this is the same generation that invested in cryptocurrencies but the world doesn’t always make sense.


There are many reasons why millennials don’t have doorbells. Firstly, most people have hands so they’re happy to knock instead of spending money on an electronic system. Another issue is that many of them don’t own houses and never think of adding a doorbell to their apartment (via Housing.com).


Meanwhile, they’re also terrible communicators and hate to impose on their friends. They think it’s invasive to knock or ring a doorbell so they’ll text them instead. It’s a weird thing but they prefer to message their arrival instead of instantly drawing attention. Social structures are changing but perhaps that’s not a good thing.


There was a time when every young American dreamed of owning a set of wheels. This meant that they had the freedom to go where they wanted without dealing with their parents. Public transport was appalling so they required a car if they wanted to go anywhere. But now millennials in bigger cities refuse to buy cars.


Cars are very expensive while there are many other costs. They must pay for lessons, insurance, and tax as well as maintenance. It’s too much for people in places like New York or L.A. to deal with. That’s why they’re choosing not to buy cars and prefer to rely on public transport or ridesharing apps (via Cars.com).


Napkin sales have suffered a 50 percent drop amongst millennials compared to older generations. That’s because eating habits are changing and people are on the go. They’re more likely to buy food when they’re out and have a different attitude at home. Paper towels offer some advantages that napkins don’t have.

The Spruce

They absorb more moisture than napkins and are more multifunctional. Many millennials care less about appearances than their parents so they don’t have napkins at home. Maybe they’ll buy them for the rare occasion they have a dinner party. But it’s more likely they’d order a pizza to share instead (via Vox).

Big-Box Gyms

Millennials care more about their physical health than previous generations. However, this doesn’t mean that everybody in the fitness sector is benefiting. Big-box gyms with a vast quantity of equipment are less popular than boutique options. Now people want to join fitness classes like yoga or boot camps with a sense of community.

WOD Prep

This is good news for specialists because they can exploit a niche. Ultimately, folks want to do what they know they’ll enjoy. Many women in particular don’t like going to big-box gyms. They find the atmosphere intimidating but they prefer boutique options because the environment is more comfortable (via Business Wire).

Alcoholic Beer

We’ve spoken a lot about how young people are more health-conscious than previous generations. This is extending to their social lives where many of them are quitting alcohol. This means that liquor companies are developing alcohol-free beer because they want to remain competitive as the market changes (via CNBC).

Eat This

Before there were very few options but now there are dozens on the market. It feels like every major brewing label has an alcohol-free edition because they are so popular. Even regular drinkers enjoy them because they like the taste of beer but want to drive. They don’t give the buzz but they’ll stop everybody from asking their friends why they’re not drinking.


Sadly cinemas are declining in popularity because millennials favor streaming series at home. People still enjoy visiting the theatre but the cost is making it prohibitive for families. It can easily cost over one hundred bucks when they buy tickets, snacks, and drinks. It’s easier to buy food at home and sit down in front of the TV.


However, there are times when it’s lovely to go to the cinema but inflation is forcing them to close. They went through a rough period during the global health crisis in 2019-21 because nobody was going to the theatre. Big production companies also stalled releases because they didn’t want to lose millions in revenue (via Daily Excelsior).


It won’t shock anybody that cash is going out of the window. Now it’s so easy to spend money using cell phones or by tapping bank cards. Millennials don’t want the inconvenience of carrying thick wads of notes and coins in their wallets. It means that there are fewer things to worry about when they go out (via The Balance).

The Balance

Most services and businesses are making it easier to pay without using cash. The global health crisis also played a crucial role in changing the public’s perception of cash because of hygiene reasons. It’s much cleaner to tap a card instead of banknotes passing between people’s hands. However, there’s a problem if the system crashes and we can’t access our money.


Love is no longer in the air as far as millennials are concerned. They’re no longer marrying as quickly as previous generations because they don’t see the point. Some of them see the benefits of marriage if it helps them to secure visas, raise children, or get a mortgage. Otherwise, they don’t want to change the dynamics of their relationship (via The Protective Diet).

New York Post

Furthermore, more couples are choosing to elope and have smaller ceremonies. They prefer to have an intimate day with a couple of friends or go to a tropical destination by themselves. Then they save thousands of dollars while enjoying a special time together. It’s a win-win for everybody because it means fewer gifts.


Cows infamously produce incredible amounts of methane so it’s not shocking that people are eating less meat. But they’re turning away from carnivore diets completely for ethical reasons and others. Many of them don’t see the health benefits of eating meat every day and sales are going down (via Safe Food).

Safe Food

Some customers prefer to eat less meat but at a higher standard. They’ll enjoy free range because it tastes better and they also know that the animals had good lives outdoors. Then there are increasing numbers of vegetarians and vegans who eschew meat completely. There are many meat-free options now so it’s easier to follow these diets.


We’ve already said that marriages are decreasing so it makes sense that fewer couples are filing for divorce. Perhaps it’s a good thing because it means that people understand the commitment that comes with marriage. They’re happy to stay together as long as they make each other happy (via Time).


If they don’t marry they can part ways easily without enduring a horrible legal process. Anybody that watched the movie Marriage Story knows that even the most well-meaning divorcees can have a brutal time. It’s better that everybody is in the right place and makes the correct decision for their families (via Marriage.com).


Everybody’s dad once wanted to be a golfer. But now fewer people are turning to one of the middle class’s favorite sports. However, that’s one of the key reasons why millennials refuse to play the sport. They think that it’s boring and takes too long to finish. Now it’s suffering a major dip in popularity.


Another issue is that golf is an expensive sport. A set of clubs costs a small fortune while many people don’t have easy access to a course. Another issue is that they don’t want to pay for membership fees. It’s a big issue for the sport’s devotees who want it to retain its shine (via USA Today).

Bank Cards

We’ve already spoken about money but that’s old news because now bank cards are going out of fashion. Soon nobody will carry a wallet because they only need their phone. Google and Apple Pay are easy ways for people to spend cash without carrying a bank card. There are pros and cons but there’s no denying that the convenience is appealing.

Money Control

Millennials even enjoy accessing online cards because it’s the same thing but it’s not a hard copy. The problem is that somebody could hack their details so there is some risk. Nonetheless, we’re moving toward a cash-free society which is good news for trees. But it’s not the best story for folks who like to hide money under their bed (via CNET).