Outline of US wine consumers and wine lovers
The Boomers buy 44% of wine but it’s the younger Millennials who buy the most expensive bottles. Contemplation on how to dialogue with the US consumer
It’s the generation born after the Second World War, in full economic expansion (1945-1964) who guides the wine consumption in USA. A 30% portion of wine shopping goes to the Generation X who gradually will substitute the previous target a sit gets older. The Millennials, in other words the consumers born in the 80’s , who are now between twenty and thirty year of age buy a little less than 13% of wine just like the over sixty’s.
This sub-division come from Rob McMillan, founder of the Silicon Valley Bank’s Premium Wine division and has been well commented by WineNews. To this one must add the detail of the type of wines consumed. When Rob McMillan declares that the Millennials are not yet a resource for the wine industry he refers in fact more to the commodity segment than to the premium wines or ultra premium wines like Brunello or Barolo.
When the Nielsen, at the end of 2010, asked a selected sample of people of different ages how many bottles the bough
cost over 20$ the results were of 12% per the boomers, 14% for the Generation X while the Millennials bought one expensive bottle every 4 with practically double the ratio of the others. In fact 24% of the Krug consumers in the US are between 21 and 24 years of age.
Those who produce premium wines must consequently communicate with this segment of consumers who has a very “easy” rapport with money but also very different desires from the previous generations: they like biological wines or, those understood as being authentic, those made by small producers according to an unusual style the “European style” in other word there is a definite refusal of the varieties (Cabernet-Merlot-Chardonnay) which seemed to have uniformed consumption up until 5 years ago.
If Italian wines want to maintain their leading position in the US with 2,5 million hectolitres exported for a total value of 1,25 billion dollars they must act in two directions: tempt the Boomers with an excellent rapport quality-price of their wines and fascinate the Millennialswith their autochthonous varieties and small wineries. So, an alliance with Italian fashion seems really desirable so as to make the messages more easily understandable. As if to say Chianti with Zara and Brunello with Cavalli or the lace bracelets with Cruciani.
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini