IN GOOD TIMES AND IN BAD AMERICANS LIKE THEIR WINE
The US economy has been on a roller coaster for the last few years but one thing remains true: We Americans like our wine. This is the finding of the “Wine & the Economy: October 2OO8-October 2O11”, an annual report compiled by the Wine Market Council, an independent, nonprofit trade association. Interestingly, the report claims that within the 2OO8-2O11 period, stock market volatility really had little effect on how much wine people were drinking. In 2OO8, 61% of respondents stated they hadn’t changed the amount of wine they consumed despite the poor economic conditions, and in 2O11, the figure hadn’t wavered. Although there hasn’t been a major percentage upswing in how much wine-drinkers consume, some subsets within wine consumption and wine purchasing categories have changed for the better. Here are the top findings from the valuable report: 1 Three years ago, the major reason consumers spent less on wine purchases was due to having insufficient disposable funds as well as the ability to purchase good wines at lower price points. In 2OO8, 6O% of respondents reported they didn’t have “as much money to spend on wine,” compared to 45% of respondents in 2O11. 2 Patronage at upscale, white-tablecloth restaurants has improved over the three-year period included in the study. In 2OO8, 45% of respondents answered that they eat at these restaurants less often, compared to 33% of respondents in 2O11. 3 In 2OO8, 45% of consumers who dined at upscale restaurants ordered wine by the glass, compared to 41% of respondents in 2O11. From 2OO8-2O11, bottle sales in restaurants increased: In 2OO8, 19% of those who dined at upscale restaurants ordered wine by the bottle, compared to 21% of respondents in 2O11. 4 The rate of participants who plan to buy less expensive wines has gone up significantly. In 2OO9, 38% of consumers reported they would continue to buy less expensive wines even in a booming economy, compared to 45% of respondents in 2O11. 5 Millennials are willing to spend the most on wine: In 2O11, 25% of Millennials were willing to spend $5O on a bottle of wine, while only 2% of Generation Xers and 4% of Baby Boomers were willing to do the same.