Important insights in to how and why Americans buy wine today.
Sonoma State University conducts an annual survey on the American wine consumer. Their most recent research answers some elusive questions including: How do they choose a wine? Where do they purchase their wine? and do they leverage social media?
How American Consumers Decide To Purchase a Wine
Despite what many may assume, after considering price and varietal, consumers decide to purchase a wine largely on brand (74%) and rely heavily on a wine’s packaging (38%).
These numbers are even more compelling when one considers how closely tied brand and brand image/packaging are linked. It’s a crucial reminder of how important a role brand and packaging play in sales.
Top 5 considerations for American consumers when deciding whether to purchase a bottle of wine
- 74% stated wine Brand
- 52% stated country of origin
- 44% stated region
- 38% stated the look of the label
- 12% stated the Appellation
American’s Preferred Place to Purchase Wine
The research was a national sample and since wine is not sold in grocery stores in every state, it was not surprising to see that the most common location to purchase wine was in a wine or liquor store.
While direct to consumer sales continue to grow, the data highlights that the front lines for the majority of sales are still at traditional retail.
The data reinforces again the strong need for packaging that stands out on shelf and attracts consumers who will make their choice of wine with little else than packaging to depend on.
Rate at which American consumers purchased wine most often at various locations:
- 25% most often purchased wine in a Wine/Liquor
- 17% most often purchased wine in a Grocery Store
- 4% most often purchased wine Online
Most Common Location to Buy Wine
Graph from Wine Business Monthly
Social Media and Wine Apps
American wine consumers are leveraging social media more than ever before. Gone are the days where simply having an online presence with a website is sufficient and social media an afterthought or written off as a medium reserved for only younger wine consumers.
Today the need for an integrated online presence anchored by an excellent website and supported with a robust social media plan is crucial to reaching potential consumers, educating them about your wines, engaging them with your brand and linking to their lifestyles.
Top Social media used by American Consumers to get information about wine
- 80% use Facebook
- 41% use Youtube
- 39% use Twitter
- 28% use Linked-In
- 25% use Google+
- 24% use Pinterest
- 20% use Instagram
Only 9% of the consumers don’t use social media.
The landscape of American wine consumers is sure to continue to evolve and the channels for engagement will continue to expand, but the tenants of strong branding continue to play a large role in consumer decision making/sales and will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future.
About the Study’s Authors: Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Dr. Janeen Olsen and Dr. Tom Aktin are all full-time professors at Sonoma State University. They may be contacted via the university website or lead author, Liz@lizthach.com.
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