Despite the challenging circumstances that 2020 has brought all the sectors, wine sales have managed to hold their own. In fact, many retailers (especially online) have reported significant sales increases during the pandemic. But it doesn’t change the fact that the wine market is flat.
These pandemic sales are not ideal and are still significantly less than what it was thirty or forty years ago. By all accounts, the overall wine market is flat, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to sell wine.
While the pandemic has created significant spikes for online retailers, and the consumption of wine has increased recently, the view on wine has changed over the past few years.
The two main factors contributing to the changing industry are related to the new generation and their views on wine.
Millennials’ Drinking Habits are Different
The unfortunate truth is that the generation of millennials has dramatically impacted global wine sales. According to the 2016 Silicon Valley Bank Wine Report, the U.S. saw the most significant drop in wine consumption per capita since 2000, and other countries have experienced similar situations.
There are several reasons that millennials’ drinking habits are vastly different than Baby Boomers. The truth of the matter is, millennials are more conscious about health and the adverse effects of alcohol. While millennials are thought to be significant alcohol consumers, it isn’t as frequent as many would think. In many cases, millennials only consume alcohol occasionally or opt for lower-alcohol options.
Additionally, millennials are said to be more frugal and inclined to opt for more affordable beverages. In most cases, premium wines’ inflated prices do not appeal to millennials, no matter the wine’s reputation or prestige.
For the few millennials who do appreciate a fine wine, the opportunity to drink by-the-glass has also changed the industry’s future. The by-the-glass initiative has meant that consumers can try a wider variety of wines but significantly smaller amounts.
These combined factors of less consumption and cheaper consumption are partly why the wine market is flat.
Alternative Drinking Options Are Overwhelming
The twenty-first century has seen a shift in the alcohol industry. There are more innovative options emerging from beers, spirits, and aperitifs. With the immersion of craft beers and craft spirits, the wine industry has been introduced to more competition than before. This is especially true for on-sight consumption of unique and exquisite cocktails.
Beverage Daily.com found that the trend toward craft drinks growing for two main reasons:
Fona’s Trend Insight Report found that millennials are especially open to innovative drinks as a way to have new experiences. Millennials are more inclined to try beers, spirits, and cocktails from across the world as a way to immerse themselves in the unique beverages of those countries.
Millennials are considered to be the generation that is the most open to new, rare, and even controversial flavors. There tends to be a trend of seeking out new and unique flavors in food and beverages. So, while different wines offer different flavors, there is a large shift in trying various drinks that have dramatically different tastes.
This search for unique experiences and rare flavors has significantly contributed to why the wine market is flat.
While making wine sales is becoming increasingly difficult, there are several ways to do it successfully. There are several ways to Make Your Winery Stand Out, Increase Restaurant Wine Sales and Maintain Wine Sales During this Pandemic.
The silver lining to these trends and sales is that wine can also be produced in new and innovative ways. With modern technology, low-calorie wines, cannabis-infused wine, and highly skilled winemakers, winemakers can make wine that fits the new mold. While the competition is greater than ever before, the wine industry has the opportunity to produce wines that are in line with the needs and desires of the new generation of wine drinkers.