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Wine Consumption Trends in America

Lindsay Watkin, Marketing Director GWS

Interested in tapping into the US market? America is now the #1 consumer of wines in the world, surpassing even France. But changing demographics and tastes mean you have to be in the know when it comes to marketing and appealing to consumers in this market.

Wine Consumption is on the Rise

A 2015 survey developed by SSU researchers sampled 1,072 wine consumers in the US, and found that 56% drank wine daily or several times per week, categorizing them in Wine Market Council?s “High Frequency Wine Drinkers” segment.

Further research by the Wine Market Council, presented at their January 2016 Conference in New York, also indicated that since 2000, the “High Frequency Wine Drinkers”
People drinking wine

segment has increased more than two-fold, passing from 7.6% to 13% of all adults in the US above legal drinking age. The “Occasional Wine Drinkers” segment — defined as those that drink wine once a week or less — also grew for this period, and in 2010 represented just over 20% of the US adult population above legal drinking age.

Women Consume More Wine than Men

Women account for 57% of wine consumption by volume in America, according to the WMC Female Wine Drinker Survey 2015.

The survey also found that women rated “traditional, classic and sophisticated” labels as more intriguing than other types of labels. Women are more likely to try a new wine based on its label, or by recommendations from family, friends or store staff, but will not necessarily seek out a wine about which they've read.

Women who are highly involved wine drinkers are mostly Millennials, urban educated professionals, and more ethnically diverse than the typical wine drinker.

Some wine brands and makers are marketing specifically to women to tap into this potential. Wine Sisterhood is a California wine company that makes and markets the Wine Sisterhood and Middle Sister wine brands. Their website features an online community where women can exchange on wine and lifestyle topics. In addition, Wine Sisterhood TV features video segments with wine tips and other topics geared to their female audience.

Growth is Being Driven by Millenials

In general, growth in wine consumption was driven largely by the Millenials. This generation accounts for approximately 80 million people in the US alone, and it's estimated that they will spend $200 billion annually by 2017 and $10 trillion over their consumer lifetimes in the US.

Though Gen Y is the most self-aware and brand-aware generation yet, 30% are cynical about the way brands market to them. Modern consumers are not interested in being marketed to, they're more interested in interacting. Developing greater and better presence on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Snap Chat — helps social and search engine rankings, and allows for a space where consumers can share and intermingle.

The growing use of wine applications such as Vivino, shows that consumers are eager to share their experiences, and are making purchase decisions based on user-generated ratings and recommendations from other wine lovers. Vivino boasts close to 10 million wines, 318 million labels scanned, 19 million wine reviews, and over 20 million APP users in their database.

Some wineries are taking it a step further by allowing the online community to participate in the wine-making process. Columbia Crest winery in Oregon used crowd sourcing to help develop their 2014 vintage. The online audience had input into how the grapes were tended, harvested and more, and access to weather conditions and other data. The winery?s head winemaker also interacted with the online community by offering advice and answering questions.

Wine business: ,

Insight. (n.d.). Debunking the Millennial Myth.