Friday, April 9, 2010

Those Darn Millennials Again

Last month, I questioned whether Millennials were truly the future of wine. That was spurred on by a Nielsen study that Millennials were spending the least among the various generations on wine. Though the study still left me, and others, with questions.

I have read some new information which touches on this very issue. The latest issue of Wine Enthusiast (May 2010) has an interesting article, Why We Buy The Wine We Buy by Kathleen Buckley. It discusses some additional Nielsen results as well as the Wine Market Council's recent report on 2009.

A Nielsen study showed that for Millennials (age 21-34, and thus all of legal drinking age), only 18% drink wine as opposed to 34% that drink beer, and 32% spirits. In comparison, as for Boomers/Seniors (age 55+), 40% of them drink wine and only 22% drink beer and 28% spirits. So, are Millennials really the future of wine? Or is that more a hopeful potential, especially as they are almost twice as likely to drink beer over wine. It also helps explain why Millennials spend so little on wine as only a small number of them drink wine.

The Wine Market Council concluded that overall, people in the U.S. spent more on wine in 2009 than 2008, but paid less per bottle for it. Champagne and Bordeaux purchases dropped significantly in 2009. Curiously, it also concluded that Millennials tend to purchase wine at higher price points than everybody else. So that small group of Millennials buying wine seems to actually prefer to pay a bit more for their wine.

This seemed to be clarified more by the Wine Market Council and Nielsen as they stated that Millennial women, age 21-33, were the least bothered by price, as well as the most interested in learning more about wine. They may be the driving force behind the potential of the Millennial generation. This though is in accord with other studies showing that women purchase more wine than men. If you do attend major wine tastings, you will likely notice the large numbers of women attending such events.

These issues are never simple, and anyone interested in marketing wine really needs to do their homework, rather than relying on simple platitudes such as "Millennials are the future of wine."

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