Results of New Wine Consumer Survey
(Caveat: I tend to distrust all wine consumer research as wine consumers are notorious for overstating their preferred price-point as well as their own knowledge base - the "wanna-be wine snob phenomenon")
American wine drinkers are more likely than the rest of the US population to:
- Be open to new experiences
- Follow their own path in life
- Be information-savvy and confident consumers
- Desire intangibles, experiences and emotions
- Have their life priorities in order
- Eschew brands as badges
California wines also came across as best positioned to take advantage of these trends as they rank first in familiarity, consumption and positive impressions - as compared to other wine-producing regions.
Its also interesting to note the rankings of what attributes are important to U.S. wine consumers:
Color and Varietal 69%
Consistent taste bottle to bottle 64%
Familiarity/Comfort with 56%
Food pairing 54%
Good for everyday 48%
Special treat 43%
Personal recommendation 39%
Stunningly, the appellation/origin of the wine is only important to 36% of buyers, but varietal is important to 69%. You have to ask why, then, are most stores laid out by region, not by varietal? Let's put the Chilean Chardonnay next to the White Burgundy, no?
In another chart, Yankelovich showed that California was the only region to have both high familiarity and high frequency of purchase with these consumers. Italy and France showed the highest Frequency of other non-California regions, but not the familiarity of California (probably due to the difficulty of understanding their appellation and labelling systems). Following France and Italy were mostly "new world" regions - Australia, Spain, New York, Washington, Oregon, Chile, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa, in that order.