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
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
- 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
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).