Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Wine News You Can Use: 10 Dynamic Forces Impacting the Consumer Wine World

I saw this series of articles on my wine news list serve, and thought that it was worth sharing.  Some of these are real, driving forces of our industry, and it's good to be aware of them.  They generally point out the ways that getting wine in this day-and-age is changing.  I hope you find it as pleasant as I did.

The original article was posted in a 2 part series: Blog Forbes, Part 1 and Blog Forbes, Part 2.  The article in its entirety is pasted here for your convenience.

The Big Picture: 10 Dynamic Forces Impacting the Consumer Wine World Parts 1 & 2

May. 7 and 22, 2011
By Jeff Lefevere
As a child, I recall asking my parents what it was like to come of age during the counterculture revolution of the late 60s. Their response was simple: “It didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time.”  Ditto their response regarding disco in the 70s.

As I wax philosophic with my own era of the early 90s and the revived nostalgia of grunge music, it’s evident that history has a way of placing cultural trends into a framework of relevance that is bigger in hindsight than when we lived through it the first time.

And, so it goes with wine, I believe.  Today is a Golden Age for wine and the consumer.  Twenty years from now we will look upon this period of time in the domestic wine world as the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter.

With that in mind, in the first of two parts, here are the forces of change that are re-shaping our wine world before our eyes, no hindsight required.

1) Wine Consumption Growth
It doesn’t matter whose numbers you look at, wine has and will continue to grow in the U.S.  According to Impact Databank research, American wine-consumption recorded its 17th consecutive annual increase and domestic consumers spent more than $40 billion on wine last year, another all-time high.

In addition, Nielsen research presented in April 2011 indicates that wine was the number one product in unit growth at mass market outlets for the 52 weeks ending January 22, 2011.

The bottom line: Long an ancillary beverage behind beer and spirits, the U.S. is becoming, first and foremost, a wine consuming country.

2) Generation Y 
(Photo from Google Images)

A research term used by the Wine Market Council(WMC), an industry research group, identifies wine drinkers who drink wine at least once a week as a, “Core” drinker.  Core drinkers represent 91% of all wine consumption.

Typically wine drinkers move along an interest and adoption curve before graduating into a “Core” wine drinker.  It should come as no surprise then that when research shows that over 50% of Generation Y, a generation larger in size than Baby Boomers, are onboarding into wine as a “Core” drinker the wine business is palpably excited.

The bottom line: young adults in their twenties have vigorously taken to wine.  Their interest in wine, their technological adeptness and their global sensibility is driving growth and impacting all levels of wine marketing.

3) The Global Wine Village