Age is just a number. However, in the wine world it is a key aspect for both the product itself and the consumer. How do wine and new generations relate? Are wineries aware of how to attract and convince the so-called millennials? And in the nearest present and future where the so-called Generation Z enters the scene? These are such important issues that they are making brands change the way they make themselves known and market their products.
Relationship between wine and young people
According to statistics, in Spain currently live together a total of five different generations, among which there are potential consumers of wine. The oldest are the “Post -war children” (born between 1930 and 1950), t “babyboomers” (between 1951 and 1970) and the “Generation X” (between 1971 and 1980). Despite slight differences, in all of them wine consumption is high and with a certain preference for products with a good value between quality and price. However, the last two generations are the most interested for wine brands because of their age and differentiation in taste.
- Generation Y or millennials (born 1980-1995). They are children of the digital age and very committed to ecology and social responsibility of brands. At the same time, they associate wine consumption with complete experiences that include more things as for instance gastronomy or history.
- Generation Z or centennials (born 1996-2010). They stand out for being non-conformist, enterprising and totally digital. In spite of being part of the population that still cannot drink alcohol, they have already become a very attractive target for wineries and wine brands.
The clearest coincidence between the two generations of young people is that their lives move around the Internet and that their wine consumption as of today is more moderate than that of their elders. This fact, together with a greater environmental awareness has made the marketing strategies of wine companies very different from those of a few years ago.
Current marketing strategies for wines
According to the records from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Environment, Spanish people consumed a total of 21 liters per person per year in 2019. In turn, it is estimated that in Spain there are 23 million wine consumers, with Generation X and babyboomers being the ones with a higher consumption rate. Nevertheless, these generations have deeply rooted tastes and are complicated to change for the future. This makes that marketing strategies for wines and similar beverages are currently targeted at younger generations.
Due to the interests and consumption habits of Millennials and Generation Z, it is more and more common to find strategies from wineries and wine companies designedto engage customers with the following characteristics:
- They are totally online, with content that is published and shared through social media. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are shop windows where more and more companies advertise and interact with audience. It is also common to see wine brands in festivals and markets, as they are day plans where young people use to consume the product.
- Influencers marketing is one of the most widely used techniques, as young people in general, are very open to follow the recommendations of public figures and/or authority. In addition, they do not intend to become experts, although they are keener to share experiences in their social media profiles.
- Being an audience thatjoins together wine with more complete experiences, it is usual to find plans that mix wine and gastronomy offering tastings accompanied by food and history.
In turn, giving visibility to corporate values and companies’ commitment to the environment is another of the most common features in strategies to attract customers who launch wine brands. Sustainable production processes, eco-friendly packaging… are other very frequent elements in campaigns that seek to attract the attention of young people.
Fruit-forward wine is the favorite of young people
Also another important fact for marketing plans is knowing what kind of wine is the favorite for young people, which differs from what their predecessors used to choose. They appreciate products with fruit and young flavors, so including fruity wines in marketing strategies is very common. Indeed, for Viña Olabarri young people are the ideal public for an ecological Crianza or a Viña Olabarri Blanco, which stands out for bringing forward the fruit as protagonist with sweet notes that make it ideal for sharing with friends or family.
Online wine purchases have doubled over the last two years
Are the digital campaigns that are launching more and more wine companies successful? If we look at the data, the answer is yes. In fact, according to the wine market study in Spain by the Wine Intelligence consultant, the purchase of wine online has doubled in the last two years. as the online channels of supermarkets and wine companies have gone from 10% of total sales in 2018 to 21% in 2020.
Moreover, added to this upward trend in online wine purchases is also the fact of the pandemic, which has changed how we consume. Although both Millennials and early Z-generation members consumed wine in approximate amounts of a daily drink and during social events or dinners and meals with friends, they now also do so more and more frequently. This is assured by Wine Intelligence, relying on the data of 7% growth in wine sales in Spanish supermarketsduring 2020.
It is true that every time is easier to make online purchases, whatever the product. However, data such as those we have talked about earlier reflect well that young people are being the main engine for making Internet consumption grow. The numbers show this and it is a fact that brands try to understand the relationship of wine with new generations and adapt themselves to these new markets and customers. Not just because they want to, but because they must do so to survive in the present and the nearest future.