WINE FUTURE: BETWEEN OPPORTUNITY AND THREATS
Future wine is threatened by falling consumption and taxes while opportunities are emerging markets, online sales and wine tourism but focus on packaging
I take up a beautiful article by Fabio Piccoli as a conclusion of his participation in the “Global Wine Industry Outlook 2025” by Wine Intelligence. The super British agency of analysis on wine, has called 300 professionals of all the production chain (producers, marketing experts, importers, traditional and online distributors, GDO and HORECA operators, trade associations and institutional representatives) from 52 countries around the world to map enology in the next five years. The outcome is only partly predictable because, as in any self-respecting large forum, confirmation of known data is associated with something new and a new interpretation of old information.
THOSE WHO DO NOT DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES BECOME EXTINCT, IN THE FUTURE OF WINE THE NEED TO COMMUNICATE GROWS
Both Wine Intelligence and Fabio Piccoli from WineMeridian underline the importance of the contribution of an Australian marketing manager who summarizes in simple words a new very complicated horizon
“There are more and more peo
ple involved in wine, but it is no longer a question of loyalty to a particular brand; instead, there is a tendency to try many different styles. This makes it difficult for wineries to distinguish themselves, given the impressive amount of varieties that consumers can choose”. As is now well known, wine and food have replaced clothing as tools used by consumers to represent themselves and communicate to their community. The choice of a particular bottle therefore depends on the values it brings in: luxury, attention to pairing, ability to represent certain cultures, respect for the environment, ethical choices in favour of people, of the territory, animals … In front of customers who are less and less loyal and more experimentalist, it becomes even more necessary to make the producer’s choices perceivable, those that distinguish its bottles in the immense international offer and make them preferred by consumers who share the same values.
The comment by Fabio Piccoli is lapidary and fully shareable “businesses are and will be increasingly obliged to identify tools to stand out>>.
THREATS TO THE FUTURE OF WINE
Obviously this is the tip of the iceberg of future threats. The most massive part is well known:
– decrease in consump
tion (with 59%), wine currently accounts for 15% of all alcoholic beverages
– taxes that with Trump’s recent statements and the choice of tough brexit are increasingly likely and forthcoming (53%).
– alcoholic beverages competing with wine (44%) are frightening, as is the great fashion of craft beers;
– increased restrictions on sale of alcoholic beverages (44%);
– increased production costs (42%);
– water shortages (40%) plus global warming that increases water stress. Lack of attention to climate change, with the increased correlated incidence of extreme climatic events, depends on the small number of producers present at the forum whose results are therefore more focused on the market and less on production, as Piccoli rightly noted.
-millennials becoming less involved in wine (40%);
– disputes in international trade (34%);
– increase in the requirement for“warning” in wine labelling (31%) as the famous points label for calories;
– increased competition from other non-alcoholic beverages with the diffusion of juices added with cannabis (26%);
– an ageing population (25%);
– reductions in distributors’ margins, retailers (22%).
WINE PACKAGING AT THE FOREFRONT OF CHALLENGES
Among the future challenges indicated by the Global Wine Industry Outlook 2025 forum, wine packaging is in pole position. In fact wine has perhaps the oldest and most inconvenient packaging among all the food products on the market and to improve its communication the market will have to work seriously on it.
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FUTURE OF WINE
The list of opportunities begins with the increase in the number of wine consumers in emerging markets (64%) and online sales (64%);
wine tourism (60%) and direct sale in wine cellars (33%);
new communication (55%);
emerging markets such as Africa and some parts of Asia (55%);
millennials wine lovers (44%);
new packaging (42%);
consumption in the horeca channel (31%);
improvements in wineries (22%) and vineyards (21%)
international trade agreements (21%)
COMUNICATION TORTURE AND DELIGHT OF THE FUTURE OF WINE
The presence of the same voices among the threats and in the list of opportunities reminds us that everything has its downside that every snare also contains positive aspects.
To understand more I invite you to read Wine Meridian where Fabio Piccoli has explored the subject in numerous posts highlighting how communication, unanimously recognized as a must of the future is instead little practiced by Italian wineries.