Welcome to 2022. At the start of the year, it’s fun to look at what the experts see as key wine industry trends over the next year. Unfortunately, not all the news this year is positive. We’ll explore the good and the bad trends here. Thank you to The Drinks Business, SevenFiftyDaily, Decanter and Napa Valley Register for their help with this article.
Let’s Start with the Good Wine Industry Trends
On the good side, the industry has made its way through the pandemic with creativity, resilience and fortitude. Besides that, here are some other positive trends:
Sparkling Wine: Sparkling Wine grew by more than 13 percent amount American drinkers over the past two years. It looks like this trend will continue to the point where Sparkling Wine is no longer just for special occasions but can be enjoyed every day of the week.
Online Sales Are Rocking: Wine companies used e-commerce to retain recently acquired Covid clientele. But the question is whether this will continue. How do you convince customers that shopping for wine online is as fun as learning about wine from your local wine merchant.
Restaurant Wine Lists Are Getting More Creative: SeventyFiveDaily quotes Dallas-based sommelier Tiffany Tobey who says, “My by-the-glass program is geared towards a completely different compilation of regions and off-the-beaten-path stuff. I’m offering stuff by the glass that people have never heard of before, but they’re still willing to try it because the rest of my list still contains plenty of the familiar favorites that make them feel comfortable.”
Consumers Are Getting More Creative: As prices continue to rise, and classic wines are becoming harder to find because of supply chain issues, people are venturing out beyond their comfort zone. According to Decanter, we will be ” drinking more esoteric wines from lesser-known regions throughout Italy and the rest of Europe, [including] Corsica, Slovenia, and Switzerland as examples.”
Now for the Bad Trends
Wine is losing market share to spirits, craft beer and other alcoholic drinks as younger consumers aren’t as enamored by wine as we were some 20, 30 or more years ago. As the population ages, the number of serious wine drinkers will decline, which doesn’t bode well for the industry who needs to figure out how to appeal to this very important age group.
Wine is likewise becoming less popular in restaurants as the prices for bottles or glasses are just too high.
Besides these negative trends, the biggest area of concern is the environment, which is causing a lot of good things to happen:
Alternative Packaging: According to Napa Valley Register, “The current process of making glass results in a high level of carbon being emitted, and today there are only two major glass producers in the United States — Owens-Illinois and the Ardagh Group. That means more glass comes from overseas producers[, which] has an impact on the environment. We are always looking for alternatives that do not compromise quality but also have a better climate-friendly profile than those heavy glass bottles.”
Health Claims Are Being Replace by Climate-Friendly Claims: Napa Valley Register says, “Adopting carbon-neutral or even carbon-sequestration strategies in vineyards by using regenerative farming techniques and in the winery by reducing glass usage and employing other climate-friendly practices, many in the wine industry are seeing that the story of wine does have a significant role to play in helping solve one of humanity’s biggest threats.”
I’d love to hear any industry wine trends that you’ve been seeing.
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