Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wine Consumerism

It is often enlightening to read marketing reports of current consumer trends. As the population of 70 million millennials become 21 years of age and start buying alcoholic beverages, their wine habits are more diverse than any previous generation. They grew up with the Ipod and seem to enjoy the random lack of structure that setting things on "shuffle" affords them. They are not easily intimidated by "experts"; they are not afraid of screw tops or wine in boxes. They love to explore the world, take some risks, and drink wine to have fun. They are not likely to plan a dinner with wines matching courses as their parents may have done. They most likely will have a buffet party with their favorite foods on the table - pizza, sushi, wraps, tacos and a side table with a variety of different wines that often have wild names and crazy labels. Marketing to them necessitates visible and audible quick catch unique personality, creativity as well as informational clarity and authenticity.

Only 27 % of people buy and drink luxury brands; 73 % do not. Women buy 75% of all wine, mostly because they plan the household meals and buy wines to accompany and complement specific food.

There are six key wine consumer 'types' : The Enthusiast, who explores and buys with adventure, the Image Seeker who buys only wines rated over 90 to impress others, the Savvy Shopper who loves to find a good bargain, the Traditionalist who sticks with the tried and true, the Satisfied Sipper who doesn't want to know why or how a wine pleases - just that it does, the Overwhelmed who cannot decide without help from others.

A look at which traditional table wines and varietals US consumers purchased in 2004, when, for the first time, Americans led the market, buying over 160 million cases of wine. Chardonnay leads with 41.5 million cases or 26%, White Zinfandel was second at 22.8 million cases. Red blends = 31.5, Merlot = 21.9, Cabernet Sauvignon = 19.7, Sauvignon Blanc = 5.8, Red Zin and Pinot Noir = 3.1 each, Syrah = 1.8, Pinot Gris [or Grigio] = 1.6  and all others = 10.6 million cases.

For more in depth consumer and marketing information, visit Constellation Wine's Genome Project.

No comments: