As the COVID-19 lockdowns have rolled on, consumers have been turning more regularly to wine than they have in the past. The ongoing lockdowns have created new drinking occasions and an increase in drinking outside of traditional mealtimes. However, according to Wine Intelligence (who collected data from wine drinkers in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Sweden, the UK and the US), there are concerns about the sustainability of this growth, given the deteriorating economic environment and possible pressure on household finances in the coming months.
So, what can wine businesses and brands do to keep consumers engaged and interested in products both traditional and new to the market?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most prominent trends that are coming out of the wine sector that pose innovation and branding opportunities for existing and new to world brands:
The buzz-word at the moment when it comes to wine is sustainability. From packaging to its transportation and production, consumers are increasingly switched on when it comes to buying into a brand that is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint in a meaningful way.
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of caring for our health and we are seeing a rapid growth in low/no wines as well as natural, low-sulfite, and vegan-suitable wines. The key to success with this new market, it seems, is working out how to tap into the millennial consumer; a generation who are opting to drink less and drink better. Plus, with interest in low carb diets like Keto and Paleo peaking and becoming accepted and even mainstream, drinks that were previously avoided on these diets would be a welcome addition back. With low-carb, keto and paleo diets being medically approved, and, in some cases, recommended wine products would beneﬁt from the halo effect of assumed ‘healthy’ drinking, regardless of whether consumers subscribe to the dietary restrictions.
The traditional heavy glass bottle has been replaced in recent years, with lighter-weight more environmentally friendly options taking centre stage. From plastic bottles to wine in a box and even wine in a can, creative wine packaging definitely seems to be the trend in 2021, but will it survive in the long term?
Trending for the last six years, rosé has been a huge success over the past decade and many trend forecasters are predicting that 2021′s next big drink will be Prosecco rosé.
5. Pairing with food
Lockdowns and curfews have led us to indulge in at-home dining, planning gourmet meals, cooking, and pairing meals with delicious wines. One of the chief tenets of food and wine pairing is to match the flavour intensity and weight of the wine to the dish being served, and vice versa.
Lighter reds will be very popular over summer, as more and more wine drinkers come to appreciate this style of red. It was no coincidence that millennial pink coincided with the Rosé craze. Now millennials are at an age with more to spend, and interest in expanding beyond easy drinking rosés has left the opportunity for the steppingstone to chilled and sparkling reds, lighter and lighter reds, blurring the line between Reds and Rosé as tough competition to white wines for summertime and day drinking…
7. Wine seltzers
With the hard seltzer trend increasing booming, it’s said to be stealing market share from wine, therefore while the majority of hard seltzers are made using fermented sugars as the alcohol base, some companies are instead using wines to add the booze to their seltzers. According to Forbes, the launch of Barefoot’s Hard Seltzer is its biggest investment in a new product in its 55-year history. “We feel very comfortable that wine seltzer, as an opportunity to try wines in a new way, can bring new friends to wine.”
As it’s looking more hopeful that normality is in sight in the not so distant future, consumer behaviours and demands are bound to change again, however, the new opportunities are not to be missed by brands. With new drinking occasions, different flavour trends, and the ongoing demand to be more sustainable and healthier, there are plenty of opportunities for brands to re-invent themselves, innovate and even cross over into a new market.
We always have our eyes and ears open so that we can be at the forefront of new and upcoming trends for our clients. To see what the consumers themselves are searching for online and what this could mean for your business, check out our Trailblazing Trends reports which we post every quarter and get in touch if you'd like to find out more.
Interested in finding out more about what this might mean for you and your business?
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