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Millennials: When, what and how much do they drink?

August 1, 2012 by Laura Saieg | in Latest news, News

A report produced by Wine Intelligence answers these questions and reveals which will be the market for wine in the United States in 2020.

Within the framework of the London Wine Fair, Wine Intelligence presented a report on Millennials’ (21-45 year old) wine drinking habits in the United States. This way, it outlines the main changing patterns and drinking occasions.

Trends developing:

•Growth of imported wines, at super-premium price points ($10-20) with a distinctive and memorable regional story

•Demand / expectation for a greater diversity of imported wines with interesting stories on on-premise wine lists

•Greater diversity of wine in off-premise at the $10-20 level from domestic regions and states, including those outside the California / Oregon / Washington / New York State establishment

•Greater diversity of wine styles, including the proliferation of drier styles of rosé (as opposed to the dominant “blush” rosé style)

Looking to the future: The 21-45 year old American wine consumer

One of the premises is that Millennials are behaving very differently towards wine than previous generations. A major difference is that younger people spend more per bottle, while over 45s lead in terms of consumption volume.

The building excitement over the drinking and spending habits of America’s 21-35 year old wine drinkers –the Millennials–has been well documented in the media over the past few years.

Given this, we should analyze this generation’s behavior and what they are looking for when buying wine. Consequently, the report divides the wine drinking population into two groups and compares them: the under-45s and the over 45s.

What do they drink and what varietals dominate wine shopping?

On this chart it can be observed that younger wine consumers are significantly more likely to buy wines from France, Italy, Spain, Chile and Argentina, while older consumers are more likely to be California buyers, with other US regions, chiefly New York State, in their repertoire. This way, an opportunity shows up for Argentina with Malbec on top.

Another difference when comparing these two groups is that Millennials spend more per bottle, tend to use wine as part of celebrations, and also visit the on-premise (bars, restaurants) more frequently than over 45s.

Likewise, another difference arises when analyzing various drinking occasions. Under- 45s tend to pair wine with a more formal occasion, such as a restaurant meal or a dinner with friends at home, and are less likely to crack open a bottle the moment they get in from work.


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