In a newly released survey, 35% of survey respondents classified themselves as “wine adventurers."
Frequent Drinkers Stick With What They Know
Whether it’s relaxing at home, dining out at a restaurant or celebrating with friends and family, Americans are enjoying wine at a wider variety of occasions than ever before. The 2015 Gallo Consumer Wine Trends Survey, commissioned by E. & J. Gallo Winery, found that 85 percent of frequent wine drinkers now believe that wine is appropriate for casual and formal settings alike. The survey of 1,000 frequent wine drinkers between the ages of 21 and 64 is a follow-up to the 2014 survey of the same name, which aims to capture the current state of American wine drinking attitudes and behaviors.
The survey found that even while Americans are bringing wine into a growing number of occasions, frequent wine drinkers still stick to what they know. When presented with a list of 40 well-known wine brands across a range of price levels, respondents indicated that they purchased an average of 3.2 brands on a regular basis. However, Americans showed overall interest in a diverse range of wine styles, packaging formats and sizes and also shed light on their perceptions of wine and wine culture.
The Millennial Versus Baby Boomer Experience
An overwhelming 82 percent of all frequent wine consumers enjoy between one and five glasses per week; however, their experience varies significantly by demographic. Millennials are twice as likely to enjoy wine when socializing with friends (22 percent versus 11 percent), whereas baby boomers are fifty percent more likely to reach for wine during a family meal (33 percent versus 22 percent). Millennials are also four times more likely to often select a wine based on its label, more frequently looking for personality and originality. Baby boomers, by contrast, often look to the label for information such as region of origin and product details.
When asked to classify themselves as a type of wine consumer, 35 percent of survey respondents chose “wine adventurer,” indicating a desire to explore options and to have new experiences with wine. Millennials were more likely to categorize themselves as “wine novices” (30 percent), while baby boomers often considered themselves “wine traditionalists” (27 percent) or “wine brand loyalists” (13 percent). Interestingly, only 3 percent of total respondents self-identified as “wine snobs,” making the case that most wine drinkers aspire to enjoy wine on their own terms rather than following a prescriptive set of traditional cultural rules.
Wine Fears Are Minimal
A new area of interest explored in the 2015 survey was common fears among wine drinkers. Overall, frequent wine consumers didn’t claim to have many concerns; however, four in ten were frightened by the prospect of mispronouncing a wine’s name. Millennials reported a greater level of “wine fear” overall than older drinkers, stating that:
- 34 percent feel awkward when asked by a server to “taste” wine at a restaurant
- 34 percent are afraid their wine selection will be judged by others
- 31 percent feel uncomfortable talking about wine with others
However, 42 percent of all survey respondents acknowledged that wine is becoming less formal. By continuing to remove these barriers from the category, the wine industry will welcome new friends and continue its expansion into everyday occasions.
Rosé Any Day
Almost twice as likely to purchase rosé in comparison to baby boomers, millennials are clearly driving purchasing trends for blush wines. Interest among rosé drinkers noticeably swells as early as April (42 percent), peaks in June, July and August (ranging from 70 to 75 percent) and holds strong through September (52 percent). This growing passion for rosé beyond the summer season is indicative of millennials’ interest in a more diverse selection of wine overall.
Portability and convenience were notable points of differentiation for a variety of alternative packaging options. In fact, 37 percent of survey respondents identified boxed wine as a convenient option and 54 percent would be open to using casual boxed wine as their “go-to” in the refrigerator. Similarly, 32 percent of consumers recognized wine in a can as being portable and perfect for picnic or cookout scenarios in which bringing a bottle of wine would be inconvenient. Among fans of alternative packaging, outdoor events remained the primary occasion for the use of these products, which include 187ml bottles (42 percent), tetra packs (43 percent) and cans (60 percent).