Fine Wine and Craft Beer: Friends or Foes?
The notion that consumers of fine wine and craft beer inhabit separate planets and that appealing to either is a zero-sum game is all, well. . . wet, according to a recent report from the industry group, Wine Market Council.
The Council’s research focused on so-called “high frequency” wine drinkers, who drink wine at least weekly and buy more than 85 percent of all fine wine sold despite comprising only 35 percent of all wine drinkers. Of that group, 89 percent often pound down a cold one or two, with 41 percent of that group opting for craft beers, generally defined as coming from independently owned brewers producing less than six million barrels of suds a year.
(On a side note, they also like the hard stuff, with 93 percent also drinking spirits, and 33 percent of those drinking liquor as often as wine.)
What that suggests, reports the North Bay Business Journal, is that there is an influential core group of consumers thirsty for high-quality beverages of all types—whether wine, beer or spirits—and that wineries shouldn’t confine their marketing efforts to already-committed wine drinkers.
This becomes especially important with the coming maturation of the “Millennial” generation (age 20 to 37), whose youngest members will reach the legal drinking age in a year and as a group are second in number only to “Boomers” (70 million to 77 million).
Millennials are the driving force behind the boom in craft beers, with studies showing that 50 percent of them have already imbibed the good stuff. They have a taste for fine wine too, one that mimics that of Boomers, currently the chief wine consumers. That also like shopping on-line, so the future of wine marketing will likely look a good deal different that the past.