Millennials Love Sparkling Wine

Millenials Drink Sparkling Wine

Of the 230 million adults in the U.S., about 45 percent drink wine, with about 15 percent defined as high frequency wine drinkers (they drink wine more often than once a week), and 29 percent those who drink wine once a week or less often. This translates into approximately 34 million high frequency wine drinkers and 67 million occasional wine drinkers.

This, like much of the reliable information about American wine drinking and buying habits, comes from the Wine Market Council, an association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, distributors, and other affiliated wine businesses and organizations. The council's mission is to establish the widespread acceptance of wine as a rewarding part of American culture, does regular consumer research, and their latest report offers drink for thought.

For instance, that time of year approaches when sparkling wine sales, already healthy, start to go through the roof. The group’s research found that more than one-third of high frequency wine drinkers drink sparkling wine and approximately one-quarter drink dessert wine at least monthly. Sparkling wine consumption skews higher among women than men, and especially higher among high frequency wine consuming Millennials (at 61 percent) compared to wine drinkers of other generations (36 percent of Gen Xers, 22 percent of Baby Boomers, and 11 percent of those 69+). Clearly, at any time of the year, bars and restaurants looking to appeal to the elusive Millennial consumer had best expand their sparkling selection to include more Prosecco, Cava and other sparkling wines outside of California and Champagne, especially by the glass.

Among other insights worth noting: High frequency wine drinkers were significantly more likely to be married and occasional wine drinkers more likely to be single or never married. The average annual household income of high frequency wine drinkers was substantially higher than that of occasional wine drinkers - half of high frequency wine consumers have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more; only one-third of occasional wine consumers reported this level of income. High frequency wine drinkers skew older than occasional wine drinkers (average age 51 vs. 44).

Typically, Wine Market Council has focused on generations and their wine drinking habits, but a study earlier this year dove deeper: the high frequency wine drinker pool included a larger proportion of both 60+ men and 60+ women, while the occasional wine drinker segment was made up of a larger proportion of young, 21 – 30 year old women. Surprisingly, occasional wine drinkers skew female and younger. The average age of an occasional wine drinker is 44 years old, compared to a high frequency wine drinker whose average age is 51.

Of course, these figures represent the entire world of American wine drinkers rather than restaurant consumers, who generally trend younger. But as beer falls and spirits rise in popularity, the wine industry continues to need better insight into their consumers’ behavior if its healthy outlook is to continue.

Of the 230 million adults in the U.S., about 45 percent drink wine, with about 15 percent defined as high frequency wine drinkers (they drink wine more often than once a week), and 29 percent those who drink wine once a week or less often. This translates into approximately 34 million high frequency wine drinkers and 67 million occasional wine drinkers.

This, like much of the reliable information about American wine drinking and buying habits, comes from the Wine Market Council, an association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, distributors, and other affiliated wine businesses and organizations. The council's mission is to establish the widespread acceptance of wine as a rewarding part of American culture, does regular consumer research, and their latest report offers drink for thought.

For instance, that time of year approaches when sparkling wine sales, already healthy, start to go through the roof. The group’s research found that more than one-third of high frequency wine drinkers drink sparkling wine and approximately one-quarter drink dessert wine at least monthly. Sparkling wine consumption skews higher among women than men, and especially higher among high frequency wine consuming Millennials (at 61 percent) compared to wine drinkers of other generations (36 percent of Gen Xers, 22 percent of Baby Boomers, and 11 percent of those 69+). Clearly, at any time of the year, bars and restaurants looking to appeal to the elusive Millennial consumer had best expand their sparkling selection to include more Prosecco, Cava and other sparkling wines outside of California and Champagne, especially by the glass.

Among other insights worth noting: High frequency wine drinkers were significantly more likely to be married and occasional wine drinkers more likely to be single or never married. The average annual household income of high frequency wine drinkers was substantially higher than that of occasional wine drinkers - half of high frequency wine consumers have annual household incomes of $75,000 or more; only one-third of occasional wine consumers reported this level of income. High frequency wine drinkers skew older than occasional wine drinkers (average age 51 vs. 44).

Typically, Wine Market Council has focused on generations and their wine drinking habits, but a study earlier this year dove deeper: the high frequency wine drinker pool included a larger proportion of both 60+ men and 60+ women, while the occasional wine drinker segment was made up of a larger proportion of young, 21 – 30 year old women. Surprisingly, occasional wine drinkers skew female and younger. The average age of an occasional wine drinker is 44 years old, compared to a high frequency wine drinker whose average age is 51.

Of course, these figures represent the entire world of American wine drinkers rather than restaurant consumers, who generally trend younger. But as beer falls and spirits rise in popularity, the wine industry continues to need better insight into their consumers’ behavior if its healthy outlook is to continue.

 

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