There is little question that the socially distant nature of COVID-19 has altered countless agendas throughout the economic, political, and social worlds. The blueprint of how consumers enjoy a glass of their favorite wine is of much lesser importance but still among the disruption. Wine drinkers have traded their 5 o’clock fix under the string lights of a chic bar in the city to a more casual back porch bottle surrounded by close family. With that shift comes a nearly nonexistent on-premise retail environment, creating dramatic uplifts in off-premise sales.
As wine consumers take advantage of off-premise retailers, like grocery stores’ and bottle shops’ limited hours, curbside pickup and delivery services, at-home wine indulgence has become more prevalent.
“Some of this boost in drinking is coming from new ‘lockdown occasions’ – for instance, enjoying wine with lunch at home, or with friends over a Zoom or Houseparty call. Another boost is from families and partners hosting ‘treat’ dinners for one another, replacing the restaurant occasion” (Wine Intelligence).
Finding creative, non-traditional ways to fill this experiential void has led to an overall increase in the frequency of regular wine drinker’s consumption tendencies in the US.
An increase in wine consumption warrants an increase in high value wine sales, as opposed to high-end super-premium and ultra-premium options.
“The inevitability of a global economic recession suggests that this switch to at-home consumption of wine will be both a medium and potentially long-term trend. However, the fundamental need to have a strong and memorable experience in out-of-home settings will continue – just not as frequently and most likely with a more restricted budget” (Beverage Daily).
As the new century began, with it came premiumization among the wine industry, or increased spending on premium choices. This trend has turned since stay at home orders have taken their toll on the global economy and encouraged budget and mid-priced option demand.
Through these uncertain times, the high value, off-premise wine sector is managing to maintain and will continue to grow through innovation and a heightened awareness of what consumers want in a post-COVID-19 world.
Richard Halstead. Wine Intelligence. bit.ly/WineIntelligence
Rachel Arthur. Beverage Daily. bit.ly/BeverageDailyCOVID