Millennials and how they’re changing the wine business

Or, as my pal W.R. Tish phrased it in the headline for my story in Beverage Media magazine: ?Boom go the Millennials ?.

The wine business has mostly accepted that the Millennials, born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, are here to stay; I hardly hear any grumbling about parent ?s basements anymore. And, as John Gillespie, the president of the Wine Market Council has said many times, anyone who doesn ?t pay attention does so at their own peril.

The story is here. Some of the highlights after the jump:


? Millennials shop differently than Boomers, and not just because they ?re more comfortable on-line. They use grocery stores differently ? popping in when they need something and at different stores, and not once a week at the same store like their parents and grandparents. This has huge consequences for the national grocery store chains that have invested heavily in wine.

? They prefer local retailers, which should be good news for the country ?s independents. But, and this was surprising, local means more than geography. It also means the retailers must be part of the community — sponsor events, participate in local fundraisers, and work with neighborhood groups.

? They have very little use for people like me. They get their wine advice from friends and family, and don ?t necessarily trust those of us who write about wine. It ?s a much more Yelp-like approach ? and texting plays a key here role — than the Boomers, who never met a wine critic they didn ?t want to make famous.

More about Millennials and wine:
? Millennials and the confidence of the palate
? The 2012 Wine Market Council report: More of us are drinking cheap wine more often
? Sweet red wine, part I

2 thoughts on “Millennials and how they’re changing the wine business

  • By SF Retailer -

    Hey Guys – You talk about millennials like they’re from another planet. They are not. The biggest difference between you and them, aside from age, is that they have less money than you and are content to drink wine under $7. Keep in mind that this is a step up from what previous generations were doing at 22 years-old.
    Here’s a hint – if you want the Millennials dollar – sell cheap, fruit-forward, slightly tannic wine (sub-$7). Blends (mostly Rhone) with cool packages sell like crazy to the hipsters in SF. Just know that you’ll get very little brand loyalty in the future.
    Now that the millennial topic has been EXHAUSTED can’t we go back to talking about the merits (good and bad) of the points-system?

  • By Jeff Siegel -

    All of which, basically, is SF Retailer, is what I’ve been writing about for the past couple of years. They are the future, but middle-aged white guys like me.

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