Still trying to get a handle on what your wine customers want? So is the wine industry itself, and one of the frequent studies conducted about choices and opinions of American wine drinkers provides some interesting information.
The annual Gallo Consumer Wine Trends Survey tries to capture the current state of American wine drinking attitudes and behaviors, uncovering the how, where, and when of wine consumption.
Among their findings in this year’s study, consumers reveal that they are most likely to try a wine recommended by a friend. The study also found that bartenders and servers are seen as more influential than wine shop employees. Millennials are four times more likely to try a bottle based on attractive labels while Baby Boomers look for more traditional info, such as varietal, region, and taste descriptors.
Unfortunately, fear is still a major factor when it comes to buying or ordering wine. For instance, nearly half of wine consumers fear mispronouncing a wine’s name, while more than a quarter of respondents to the survey worry when a server asks them to taste a wine they’ve ordered. Nearly a quarter of those who participated in the survey fear being judged for the wines they choose. Clearly, there’s still plenty of work to do to demystify wine and wine choices.
When it comes to alternate packaging like wine in a can, about a quarter have tried it, and nearly a third see it as a reasonable alternative to glass containers at outdoor events or picnics, where a bottle of wine might be less convenient.
There’s a reason rosé sales have been climbing, according to the survey: Millennials are nearly twice as likely to purchase rosé compared to Boomers. They are also far more likely to select sparkling wines than Boomers.
Surveys like these are establishing a number of truisms about Millennials, who now inch closer to becoming the largest consumer demographic for wine as all have now reached legal drinking age. Rosé and sparkling preferences are proof that they are open to all sorts of wines Gen Xers and Boomers have tended to shun in the US, as does reports that wines from Greece and Portugal continue to inch up in this country. While the Gallo survey doesn’t indicate any draft wine trends, it’s clear that operators have figured out that younger restaurant goers are at least open and (in many cases) enthusiastic about the idea. If nothing else, this report confirms what we have already come to understand: new wine drinkers won’t be satisfied with the things their parents and older siblings enjoyed.
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