After enjoying robust growth rates for many years, wine producers and retailers have been struggling to regain momentum since the recession upended the economy. Merchants in this sector can optimize their performance by identifying and targeting the proper consumer groups. Promoting the beverage through the channels with the highest customer loyalty can also make a difference.
According to Symphony IRI, consumers most often purchase wine at the following locations:
- Liquor stores 34%
- Grocery stores 33%
These percentages have not changed significantly in the past year.
In addition to considering purchase location, analysts also studied the most important demographic groups to the industry. Labeled the Daily Musts, the top group accounts for close to 50% of wine sales. These consumers, with a median age of 61 and median income of $62,000, drink wine daily. These connoisseurs are also extremely brand loyal. To increase sales to this group, analysts encourage marketers to focus on low prices and to experiment with packaging positioned as lower cost. Another consumer sector likely to offer growth to wine merchants has been labeled Variety Seekers. The median age of 50 and annual average income of $100,000 has translated into a willingness on the part of these consumers to spend more on wine, per capita, than any other group. These consumers equate higher prices with higher quality and enjoy both premium packaging and variety. Analysts say that marketers can reach this group though event sponsorships and placements in wine magazines and Internet media.
Look for wine marketers to spend their advertising dollars where they can have the greatest impact. These days, that strategy means promoting to older consumers, those who are age 35+ and are still forming their wind-drinking patterns. In addition, wine marketers may be channeling trade dollars toward grocers and liquor stores to reach their target audience.[Source: Wine Industry Growth Opportunities. Symphonyiri.com. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2011]