Many younger drinkers increasingly prefer craft beer to big brands that many see as inauthentic and corporate. Like craft beer, wine offers diversity (millennials have the most varied tastes of any generation) and a more mature way to self-identify.
“Wine drinkers are beginning to sort themselves out,” John Gillespie, president of the WMC,said while presenting the organization’s findings. “It’s the self-identification of, ‘Yeah, I’m a wine person.'”
Wine has even begun to creep into Big Beer’s most valuable marketing event of the year: the Super Bowl. According to a recent Nielsen survey, 20% of legal aged drinkers said they planned to drink wine during the big game. In the past two years, wine sales have increased 8.9% in the week before the Super Bowl — just 0.1% short of beer sales’ increase of 9%.
If you’re thinking of pouring a glass of wine, think again. #ActLikeItpic.twitter.com/eQNrinhBrM
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) January 26, 2016
Budweiser addressed the rise of wine with a commercial that aired in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl called ‘It’s the Super Bowl, Act Like It.’ In the ad, a man has a gray, reserved, and disappointing Super Bowl party while sipping wine — until he switches to a can of Budweiser.
Part of the reason wine is thriving is because it has managed to appeal to a key segment of drinkers that Big Beer has historically struggled to attract. Across generations, women drink more wine than men. The split is even more pronounced in younger drinkers, as two-thirds of high-frequency wine drinkers under 30 years old are women.
That’s a market that Big Beer desperately wants to win over. MillerCoors has said that attracting more female customers is essential to regaining the 10% market share beer has lost to wine and hard liquor in the last decade. That means major beer brands will be debuting more marketing moves similar to Bud Light’s latest campaign starring millennial feminist favorite Amy Schumer.
For now, however, wine is on a roll — at least until Generation Z turns 21.
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