What do our most read articles of the year reveal about the things that matter to the wine industry in this rollercoaster year?
Throughout this remarkable year, Wine Intelligence has been keeping a close eye on how consumers around the world are adapting to changes and restrictions in their normal lives as part of our newsletter, Wine Intelligence Weekly. When reflecting on top articles of 2020, the key common thread is that wine consumer behaviour has changed in multiple dimensions – be it what they drink, how they drink, and how they buy. Each of these behaviour changes can be found in these four top articles:
- Consumers increasingly turning to safer and ‘local’ wine brands As the pandemic continues to influence current consumer behaviour, drinkers in key wine markets are actively turning to safe, reliable and known – often local – wine brands at the expense of smaller market share and imported brands
- New normal is wine without food Latest data from our COVID-19 tracking project is suggesting that the tendency of consumers to drink wine outside mealtimes, first observed at the height of lockdown, is gaining momentum
- Consumers shift to online wine purchasing US market sees most significant rise in the proportion of regular wine drinkers purchasing wine online, with a quarter of US wine drinkers now using online channel for wine purchase
- UK wine drinkers become less influenced by wine descriptors Changing priorities have led to UK wine drinkers being less influenced by taste and style descriptions both in store and on labels or by matching wine with their food choices
Another key theme that emerges is that consumers’ caution level greatly affects their behaviour. In most markets analysed, there is a stark difference in behaviour between consumers that are playing it safe and not doing anything that could expose them to the virus, versus those that are eager to get back to the way things were. We took a look at this how these caution levels might affect the wider industry in the following frequently read articles:
- Post-virus, how will our behaviour change? Early evidence is suggesting a lively tussle in consumers’ minds between caution about economic prospects and a longing for a good time
- After the pandemic, will we do dinner out again? The livelihoods of millions rest on how US consumers regard the idea of going out to eat or drink once the immediate dangers and restrictions of the global coronavirus pandemic have passed through
- Segmenting and targeting the post-coronavirus wine consumer Wine Intelligence consumer data shows that both during and post-virus era wine drinking behaviour is similar across markets, but there are also some intriguing contrasts within markets that warrant further investigation
And then as with any year, a key theme of the top articles includes threats and opportunities in the industry. How are wine consumers acting in terms of moderation and has the rise of hard seltzer affected wine consumption in a significant way? We have also seen great potential in two growing wine markets: Russia and Poland. In our Global Compass 2020 report, Russia jumped 23 places into the top 10 most attractive wine markets, while Poland jumped 9 places into the top 5. We analyse these factors in the following top articles:
- The great American Millennial moderation A shrinking regular wine drinking population in the US, as wine faces growing competition for younger drinkers from other alcoholic beverages – and from the yoga studio
- The surge of hard seltzer “Perfect storm” threat to wine in the US from decreasing consumption and hard seltzer taking centre stage
- Russia’s wine revolution In this year’s annual Global Compass wine market attractiveness report, Russia has shot up 23 places into the top 10 — partly due to Russia’s younger generation of well-travelled adults swapping their parents’ vodka for wine
- Poland’s rise to the top 5 wine markets Poland climbed 9 places to become the 5th most attractive wine market in the Wine Intelligence Global Compass wine market attractiveness report. What is fuelling this growth?
Finally, we’ve also published two overview documents on what we’ve learned throughout the pandemic:
- Marketing wine during and after Covid-19 Reflecting on the evidence of research studies in marketing theory and practice, from the present day back to the days of the Great Depression, Wine Intelligence CEO Lulie Halstead highlights five focus areas for wine marketeers to consider
- Five learnings from lockdown With the publication of the final report in Wine Intelligence’s 12 market Covid-19 Impact Report series, COO Richard Halstead reflects on what the exercise has taught us about wine consumers around the world
Over the next few weeks, COO Richard Halstead will reflect on what this year meant for the world of wine and what we can expect from 2021.