New year, new you, new trends. This year’s predictions bring to mind some new upward trends while others are still enjoying their red carpet début.
New styles make an appearance and underdog wine varieties finally get some time in the spotlight.
Not to mention once again we see that the digital age has to rear its capricious head and change the path that the industry has been on lately.
Trends come and go, and wine is no exception to this rule. If it’s not expensive Bordeaux wine one year then it’s some hipster, fruity wine another year.
So read on to learn about some wine trends to watch out for in 2019.
Packaging No Longer Matters
Or does it?
Move aside bottled wine. Canned and boxed wine is here to stay.
Boxed and canned wine has been on the rise for a while now. What started as a trend has now become a large part of the wine industry.
We’ll put things in perspective for you all: canned wine sales went up a whopping 43% in 2018 since the year before. This is why we’re predicting that those numbers are only going to increase this year in 2019.
Can you guess who the big spenders in this category are? If you guessed Millennials, then you’re definitely on to something.
More to come on Millenial spending habits later on. For now, all you need to know is that we have them as well as Gen X to thank for the rising trend.
And we can’t blame them, there’s plenty to rave about when it comes to non-conventionally packaged wine. After all, there is a reason why they have garnered such a massive following.
For one thing, boxed and canned wine is way easier to transport.
If you’re headed to a barbecue, all you have to do is pull out a wine spritzer and you’re good to go. Long gone are the days of hassling with a bottle opener or cup spillage.
Second, they’re a perfect alternative for those who don’t drink often. When you don’t want to finish an entire bottle but you want a sip of your favorite wine, boxed wine is the perfect solution.
Talk about lasting benefits. This is one bandwagon that we won’t mind hopping onto.
The name can be a bit misleading. Orange wine isn’t actually made with oranges.
Shocker, we know.
The name is simply a reference to the deep orange hue that the wine takes on after the process is complete.
Orange wine has actually been around for some time now (5000 years to be exact).
Thanks to a man by the name of Friulian Josko Gravner, orange wine has made a comeback into modern day. After reintroducing the wine in the 90s, it’s gained momentum towards becoming a longstanding trend over the last 2 decades.
While it’s debatable if Orange wine can become a household wine like Rose, it is a specialty wine that people are sure not to forget anytime soon.
Rose’s On The Rise
Once again, Rose is still everyone’s favorite go-to pick for wine.
In Wines Vines Analytic Report for 2019, Rose sales have continued to rise by 24% over the past year.
That’s the highest growth percentage seen in a wine varietal last year next to Pinot Gris/Grigio.
We’re not surprised to hear that Rose is doing so well nor do we expect this trend to slow down any time soon.
With a careful combination of celebrity appeal and social media influence, Rose has quickly become a favorite among many.
One reason for this is because it has outgrown its summer only status. It’s a great option year round for any occasion, be it for a summer picnic or random get together.
It’s also a great go-to option.
If you can’t decide on what to bring for dinner, Rose gives you a quick fix for a situation like this. It’s impossible to offend anyone with it (unless they REALLY have a personal vendetta against pink, bubbly wine).
Wine is made from grapes. That makes it 100% vegan…right?
You probably didn’t realize a wine could be anything BUT vegan but it’s true.
Now don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Rest assured you won’t discover weird animal remnants in your wine anytime soon.
The wine itself may be vegan, but we can’t always say the same about whether the process is vegan or not. Some of the more traditional processes use animal products in the making of wine.
Egg whites, for example, are a method of filtering out small sediment particles that regular filtration cannot remove.
Other animal-based fining products are used, as well as beeswax to seal bottles and milk-based glues used in corks.
Naturally, the vegan community is going to take issue with these traditional processes. The more popular veganism gets to be, the more people are going to push for disclosure of wine-making ingredients as well as vegan-friendly wines.
Which is why you’ll start to see a larger selection of vegan wines in the store, in restaurants, and online.
We’ll let Carissa Kranz from BevVeg tell you more on the subject.
Cannabis Infused Wine
As if wine couldn’t get any more innovative.
The increase in cannabis legality nationwide continues to open up the market to new products. Cannabis infused wine being one of them.
There’s a catch though. The majority of the cannabis-infused wine and beer you will find now is alcohol-free.
In late September of 2018, California passed Assembly Bill 2914 that prohibits the sale of an alcohol and cannabinoid combo. Although the science is still unclear on whether you can or even should infuse alcohol with THC or CBD.
So if you were looking for a high to compliment your buzz then we’re sorry to disappoint.
BUT, you can still get a great tasting drink that replicates the flavors in a traditional wine, with all the benefits that cannabinoids can get you.
Moving on to consumer trends, there’s a paradox in the mix.
Reports show that tourism in wine country is increasing, however, winery visits are decreasing. Such is the case in Napa and Sonoma for the past five years.
Taking a broader look at the industry will show you that spending trends are changing in general.
All fingers point to a change in tasting room fees, consumer behavior and the consumers themselves.
New Generations, New Habits
The younger crowd, the now invested Gen X, are more frugal than their predecessors: older folk who used to visit a slew of wineries in a single day.
They’re narrowing down their itineraries to a single winery visit rather than hopping around to several in one trip.
As it turns out, the one generation that the industry was betting their money on is the one to break up the trend.
Millennials are no longer spending their money on wine!
You read that correctly, Millennial wine spending has tapered off and held steady, taking up only 17% of the market. This pales in comparison to Gen X and Baby Boomers that take up 34% and 70% of the market respectively.
So while Millennials are off chasing cannabis, Gen X is set to dominate the wine market compared to their Baby Boomer counterparts in years to come.
Why? Because Gen X spend the most in retail overall seeing as they have a higher financial capacity than Millennials and are at a peak point in their lives.
In Rob McMillan’s 2019 Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division Report he goes on to mention Gen X and the outlook on their future consumption:
“Their presence has been below the radar, but their wine consumption continues to increase, representing 34 percent of an average winery’s sales and growing. Indications suggest the majority of current growth in the above $9 wine category is coming from this generation. They are perfectly positioned to surpass the baby boomers as the dominant cohort in fine wine consumption by around 2022.”
Casual Over Fancy
Trends show that younger generations are not spending exorbitant amounts of money on expensive wine.
Gen X and Millennials, despite their waning interest, are focusing on a more casual style of drinking.
They don’t want nor do they need to display their wealth with a $200 bottle of something imported from God knows where.
They will happily settle for a moderately priced bottle between the $9 and $20 range that still shouts quality, but no longer screams pretentious.
Once again this is where canned and boxed wines are making their comeback in the form of a perfect solution. Not only are they more convenient for most occasions, but they appear less imposing than a bottle would.
There are lots of changes to expect for the rest of 2019.
The newness of some awesome, innovative product is what gets a trend snowballing. What determines the longevity of a trend is how well they fit with the needs of a changing population.
And that’s precisely the reason trends come and go: consumer behavior comes and goes with it.
We can say that most, if not all these trends that we mentioned today hold the promise of making future appearances.
Some are odd like Orange wine and perhaps cannabis-infused wine. Others make sense like boxed wine and wine spritzers.
Yet they are the method through which we are able to predict next year’s trends and trends for the year after.
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