Wine producers shouldn&'t rely on multiple retailers and should avoid being patronising when targeting consumers under 30 years old, according to research by Wine Intelligence.
In a seminar entitled &'Trendy or Traditional: How to make wine for the under-30s&' at last week&'s London International Wine & Spirits Fair, the UK-based research company revealed that this consumer group opted for wines from high street or convenience locations rather than supermarket buy?s.
It said 74% of 18 to 24-year-olds had bought wine from a high-street off-licence in the past three months - more than double the proportion of over-30s.
&"They still buy wine through the supermarket but it is the influence through convenience outlets that will shape wine learning for this group,&" said research director Luli Halstead. &"Stockpiling and planning isn&'t yet part of their lives and this has an impact on how they relate to promotions, favouring reduced price offers over two-for-one deals.&"
Wine Intelligence&'s research, which covered more than 1,000 consumers, also revealed the under-30s had a tendency to drink white - drunk by 97% - and rosé rather than red wine, which was enjoyed by only 57%. In comparison, two thirds of over-30s drink red wine and, again, two thirds could go for white.
Surprisingly, when looking at the country of origin, research revealed that 36% of 18 to 34-year-olds preferred France as their first choice over Australia, chosen by only 14%. But for consumers aged 25-35, Australia was favoured by 27% compared to 26% for France. This was higher still for over 35s.
&"Don&'t assume young people want young products,&" said Halstead. &"Modern packaging can work but it should be traditional in its cues, such as the grape variety and country of origin. Our research revealed they spend more per bottle and like French, sophisticated wines.&"
Halstead said the under-30s selected wines by grape variety and were not very brand loyal. She said producers should avoid overtly targeting this audience as younger drinkers tend to be the most conservative.

Sonya Hook