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The Future of Wine - what can we expect?

A look at some key take-aways from leading industry reports on the biggest wine trends for this year, for your reference.

A summary of recent on wine trends for 2024 by the IWSR and OIV.

Most markets report a continuing decline in wine volumes, particularly in the traditional wine drinking markets of Europe and the US. Competition from other alcohol categories and a growing interest in health, fitness and well-being have also played a role. Wine producers and bodies are also up against the simplistic, but wide-reaching narrative from 'prohibitionist' groups.

On the upside, the value of average spend on a bottle of wine has remained stable (although it is under threat as younger consumers feel the pinch of inflation). Overall though, premium wine is suffering less than value wine, so the "less but better" philosophy has gained some traction. Any real growth is coming from newer markets outside of Europe and the United States, including Asia and South America.

The impact of climate change continues to be a worry for the industry, as weather patterns change and become less predictable. In late April a hard frost struck northern Europe, (including vineyard regions in northern France, Austria and Germany and as far south as Spain), similar to that of 2021, as well as localised hail events. These weather events are particularly devastating for vineyards in late Spring when the delicate vine buds are vulnerable to severe damage. In some cases, the entire crop has been lost. "Overall, sustainability is an increasingly high priority for consumers, with two-thirds of regular wine drinkers in the biggest markets describing it as important to them – and as high as 70% of regular wine drinkers in the US, and 94% in China" states the report.

The industry regularly discusses the challenge of recruiting new and younger drinkers to the wine category. It seems obvious that we need to embrace the culture of young people and bring food and wine culture and tradition to them, rather than expect them to come to wine by themselves. One positive view is that the younger consumers who are recruited into wine, are increasingly adventurous, confident and engaged, making them more likely to be curious about exploring wine.

The NOLO sector is gaining traction as non-alcoholic wine becomes part of the mainstream conversation. Its share continues to grow, albeit from a low base, with more interesting products being produced from regions all around the world, especially the US, with sparkling wine proving particularly interesting. Premiumisation (especially on packaging but also on "clean" or "low sugar" options) has been strong in this category, as consumers seek a wine experience from their non-alcoholic choice.

Rosé wine has grown significantly in the twenty years between 2001 and 2021 and now represents 8% of total market share. White wine plantings have significantly increased over the same period and white wine (including sparkling which has seen a boom) totals 49% share. Red, wine is in decline and the market share has reduced from 48% to 43%.

[Words by Laura Peterson]

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