their high standards, Millennials won’t
shop there. Convenience is important, be-
cause they’re so pressed for time, but they
also want products that are sourced and
manufactured safely and humanely. They
don’t pay lip service to green labels the way
Boomers do.
Who they trust.
It’s not the tradi-
tional wine experts—critics, magazines
and the like—that drive consumption
among Boomers. Plahutnik says his
younger customers are usually surprised
when he shows them less expensive,
quality wine; they’re not used to getting
advice from someone like him. Rather,
says Gillespie, they ask their friends and
family; if their circle likes the wine, then
it’s good enough to drink.
Private labels.
Millennials love them,
says Graham, especially when they come
from a trusted retailer like Trader Joe’s.
This gives them an emotional connection
to the product, so they’re buying on more
than a cheap price. In addition, buying a
private label from a trusted retailer makes
the purchase decision easier.
The interplay between price, value
and status.
“Millennials are at the cut-
ting edge in the industry in getting away
from statusy brands,” says August Sebas-
tiani, the president of California pro-
ducer The Other Guys. “They’ll spend
money for quality, but they also want
value. They won’t buy something just
because it’s expensive.” This, he says, is
a key difference between Boomers and
Millennials. The former will serve a
bottle of wine because it got 98 points
and they want to impress their friends.
The latter, on the other hand, will serve
wine they like, and they don’t really care
about scores, if it cost a lot, or if anyone
else has ever heard of it (one reason why
Millennials are at the forefront of the
local wine movement). They like mak-
ing discoveries, says Sebastiani, and they
want their friends to like what they find
as well. Then word of mouth takes over,
and texts, posts and tweets follow about
the wine.
MILLENNIALS:
DEMOGRAPHICS
Source:WineMarketCouncil
Total core wine drinkers
by generation 2012
Older
Millennials
19%
Millennials
28
Gen X
20
67+
12
Baby
Boomer
40
Younger
Millennials
9%
Source:WineMarketCouncil
I worry about making a mistake
when I buy wine
38
28
16
9
WINE DRINKING OCCASIONS
BY GENERATION 2012
(percentage very/somewhat likely)
Source:WineMarketCouncil
OCCASION
MILLENNIALS GEN X
BABY
BOOMER
67+
Cocktail Party
87
88
79
79
End-of-day drink at home
82
82
79
72
Casual weekday restaurant dinner
82
82
75
74
Meals eaten alone
65
69
55
48
Bar or lounge
75
71
58
39
Business entertainment
76
71
55
39
Takeout
58
56
40
25
Ball game or concert
48
35
21
14
Co e Wine Co sumption
BY venue a d GENERATION 2012
(percentage)
Source:WineMarketCouncil
MILLENNIALS
51
22
19
8
GEN X
57
22
16
5
BABY BOOMER
65
20
12
3
YOUNGER MILLS.
48
21
20
11
67+
65
18
14
3
OLDER MILLS.
52
22
19
7
Source:WineMarketCouncil
%
of
Wine
Drinkers
%
Volume
Millennial
29
38
Younger (21-28)
10
14
Older (28-36)
19
24
Gen X
21
21
Baby Boomer
38
32
67+
12
8
n
Restaurant
n
Friend’s Home
n
Other Venues
n
Home
Source:
Tot
by
Mille
1
Yo
Mille
Dri
Source:
2
n
n
How
drivi
as 2
com
Source:WineMarketCouncil
You can buy good wines without
spending a lot of money
88
88
93
93
An opened bottle of wine stays
fresh for 2 to 3 days
72
61
62
64
Less Older Generation
interest and confidence, 2012
(percentage completely/somewhat agree)
Source:WineMarketCouncil
MILLENNIALS GEN X
BABY
BOOMER
67+
I enjoy shopping for wine
85
83
71
61
I like to introduce friends/family
to new brands of wine
78
71
56
37
I am confident I would be able
to correctly differentiate a
glass of Merlot from a glass of
Cabernet Sauvignon
71
66
55
44
I like reading about wine
in books, magazines and
newsletters
64
59
39
28
I worry about making a mistake
when I buy wine
38
28
16
9
WINE DRINKING OCCASIONS
BY GENERATION 2012
(percentage very/somewhat likely)
Source:WineMarketCouncil
OCCASION
MILLENNIALS GEN X
BABY
BOOMER
67+
Cocktail Party
87
88
79
79
End-of-day drink at home
82
82
79
72
Casual weekday restaurant dinner
82
82
75
74
Meals eaten alone
65
69
55
48
Bar or lounge
75
71
58
39
Business entertainment
76
71
55
39
Takeout
58
56
40
25
Ball game or concert
48
35
21
14
Core Wine Consumption
BY venue and GENERATION 2012
(percentage)
Source:WineMarketCouncil
MILLENNIALS
51
22
19
8
GEN X
57
22
16
5
BABY BOOMER
65
20
12
3
YOUNGER MILLS.
48
21
20
11
67+
65
18
14
3
OLDER MILLS.
52
22
19
7
Vol
win
Source:
M
G
B
6
n
Restaurant
n
Friend’s Home
n
Other Venues
n
Home
BRINGING GEN X INTO FOCUS
Gen Xers, the demographic between the
Baby Boomers and the Millennials, are often
overlooked. One reason is that there aren’t
as many of them—only 50 million or so,
about two-thirds of the Millennials. They’re
also among the most difficult to reach, more
cynical about marketing and less trusting
than the Boomers.
But they’re entering their peak earning
years, and the 2012 Wine Market Council
report notes that they are playing a crucial
role in the wine business:
They account for one-fifth of the study’s
core wine drinkers—those that drink wine at
least once a week.
Annual household incomes were signifi-
cantly higher among Gen Xers than the other
demographics—$81,900 vs. $73,700 for
Millennials and $78,700 for Boomers.
Almost two-fifths of Gen Xers said they
were drinking more wine today than they did
a few years ago, the second highest number
after the Millennials.
Core Gen X wine drinkers are more con-
fident than Millennials—only 28% said they
worry about making a mistake when they
buy wine, compared to 38% of Millennials.
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