Wine trade ‘losing touch’ with Millennials

11th March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

The wine industry is “losing touch” with Millennial consumers according to a recent study by Wine Intelligence.

The study, commissioned by the London Wine Fair, found that Millennials “have an overall lack of engagement with wine.” Also known as “Generation Y”, Millennials are categorised as those born between 1980 and the year 2000.

Exposed to a barrage of drinks offerings, the report found that wine is in danger of losing Generation Y to other more engaging drinks categories such as beer, cider and spirits.

“Wine has a great opportunity to engage with the next generation of consumers in the UK. Generation Y loves authenticity, good stories, and the opportunity to learn and explore,” Wine Intelligence’s chief operating officer Richard Halstead said.

“Unfortunately, there are a number of other drinks categories that are doing a better job than wine, and our findings suggest that there is a real danger that we are losing touch with our consumers of the future,” he added.

With 18-25 year olds accounting for 25% of the wine drinking population, Millennials represent an important sector of the wine market, thus keeping their attention and interest should remain a priority for wine brands.

Last year we reported that with Millennials drinking more wine than previous generations of young consumers, wine producers in the US are changing not only the types of wine that they are producing, but also their branding and marketing approach in order to lure Generation Y into the wine category.

The Wine Intelligence report divided Generation Y into “Wired Confidents”, “Mainstream-in the-making” and “Female Indifferents”.

The report investigated the importance of buying channels; influences in buying behaviour such as social media, discounting and peer groups; and spending habits.

Called “Carpe Vinum”, the report, sponsored by Cobevco, will be carried out annually and will explore different consumer groups each year.

Copies of the 2014 report will be available to all London Wine Fair exhibitors and also to the first 1,000 visitors each morning of the fair from 2-4 June at Olympia. A briefing on the findings will take place at 10:30am on 3 June.

7 Responses to “Wine trade ‘losing touch’ with Millennials”

  1. Would’ve been nice to see mead listed with beer, cider, and spirits as one of the engaging beverages pulling attention away from standard grape wines!

  2. We have been seeing a significant increase in demand for Mead at our place of business, last check was 750% increase over the last 12 months. Wine may be decreasing, but the demand of Mead is growing. Our target demographics are as stated in the article, specifically female between the age of 22 to 34. Generation Y is definitely liking the Mead’ing Edge. With the demand for gluten free and all natural ingredients, Mead is the answer to a young thirsty generation.

  3. I agree we need to do more to get young people drinking our wine beverages. This is the future of our growth as an industry and traditional labels and markets my not be cutting it for this young crowd.

    We have our work cut out for us but what a great opportunity to capture ! Let’s go !!

  4. craig says:

    So how do we engage the millenials?

    • Craig,

      As a Millennial and a wine enthusiast, I thought I could help respond to how to effectively reach Millennials in the wine industry. First and foremost, in order for a brand to truly resonate with this demographic, they must take the intimidation and stuffiness out of their product AND packaging. This leads to my second point naturally — create a comprehensive digital experience, and definitely think about establishing a social media presence and even venture into mobile applications (or at least a responsive website.) If you are easily found online, these young consumers can interact with you, ask questions, and further more, become a loyal customer. Lastly, consider sustainable practices and packaging. Research shows Millennials are willing to pay MORE for a product if it is sustainable. In addition, these types of packaging tend to be less fuss, which is perfect for the always on-the-go Millennial.

      I recently wrote a blog post about Millennials and the wine industry and I think you might enjoy it! I’d love any and all feedback.

  5. Tami Hagan says:

    My 23 year old daughter is getting more into wine. Sometimes it takes us more mature folks to lead the way.

  6. Tim Foster says:

    I am surprised at the statistic that says 18-25s account for 25% of the wine drinking population. This sounds far too high a figure. According to the ONS in mid-2012 there were 6.8m 18-25s out of a total over-18 population of 50.2m … so about 13.5%.
    While 18-25s are obviously an important segment of the drinking population, they are not as significant as this article implies.

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