All In—Millennials, Wine and Money

Beautiful young girl drinking wine, on the white background

Beautiful young girl drinking wine, on the white background

For those of you who concern yourself with the younger set of drinkers (AKA, “Millennials) one of the best profiles of this demographic group’s relationship with alcoholic beverages has been produced by Nielsen. The take away from Nielsen’s insightful study of generations and their relationship with alcohol is fairly straightforward:

Alcohol producers should be focusing on a few key value propositions: authenticity, originality and value.

One very interesting thing to take note in this study is the mention that at this point all members of the 70 million+ Millennial generation are now of legal drinking age. All of them are in the market for booze. And how are they interacting with that market? From the Nielsen report:

“Millennials 21-34 represent about one-fourth of adults 21 and over, but they account for 35% of U.S. beer consumption and 32% of spirit consumption. Comparatively, they represent only 20% of wine consumption.”

That 20% figure for wine will continually increase as more and more members of this group enter their peak earning years, as Millennials form families and spend more time at home rather than in bars and as they travel more.

However, as you read this report and the reports it references, take note of the relationship Millennials have with “craft” beverages. Consider this nugget from a post by Nielsen from earlier in the year:

“Age differences in “what craft means” were even more distinct: handcrafted, artisanal, higher-priced and quality were relatively more important to younger consumers (21-34), while small batch production, made by a small independent company and produced locally were ranked at a higher level by older consumers (55-64) compared to younger ones.”

Here’s a good question to consider in relation to all this: given that wine has not been considered or talked about as a beverage that produces “craft” products in the way that beer and spirits do, can we expect the same positive feelings Millennials have for craftiness to be transferred to wine?

I’m almost positive the answer is, Yes.

 

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4 Responses

  1. Miles - January 6, 2016

    Craftiness indeed. As a millennial I love searching for approachable Bordeaux to show people, but I’ll definitely admit that most people of my generation are swayed by branding. I don’t think that the way wine is marketed or sold will change much when it comes to us.

    I think the bigger interest is “Z”, because I suspect they will not be bought over by older branding and marketing styles which have been used for the last century otherwise.

  2. Tom - January 9, 2016

    I’m a retailer and I disagree. It seems that millennial consumers are more interested in craft beer, particularly local beer. When it comes to wine, what I consider to be rather inauthentic brands dominate. That may change as they mature, but wine is lagging beer and spirits in this respect.

    If you look at the Dec. 2015 Market Watch, the article on Millennials and Wine makes a similar clam about this generation being “driven by a passion for quality, authenticity and discovery.” Then look at the examples given: Delicato’s Belle Ambiance, Treasury’s 19 Crimes, Gallo’s Apothic Dark, Ste. Michelle’s 14 Hands, Terlato’s Seven Daughters, and a new negotiant-bottled Bordeaux line called Legende. Treasury’s VP of Marketing is quoted: “Millennials don’t get as bogged down in appellation or country of origin – it’s really about the brand.” I carry hundreds of excellent, interesting, and authentic wines, but I mainly sell them to Gen-Xers and Boomers. A typical Millenial customer asks for Apothic and Barefoot

  3. Edward Donegan - January 11, 2016

    Tom:
    Best of the New Year.
    The wine industry branding-marketing is so ’80’s like, that 1880’s (that is not a joke). Actually the branding and marketing of cigarettes in the 1880’s is identical to the vast majority of winery branding strategies today, all about the physical product. With the vast majority of wine consumer’s not being highly-involved like you, why do continue to speak to them in this educational, complex, authoritative brand-voice. They are not hearing your brand message.
    The “currency” millennials and mom’s are trading in today is brand-actions.
    Roll Tide

  4. Installment Loan Experts - January 29, 2016

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