Gallo Consumer Survey Suggests Wine Culture is Going Casual

Gallo Consumer Survey Suggests Wine Culture is Going Casual
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January 19, 2016

While there may have been a time where wine was seen as a beverage for formal occasions, a survey commissioned by a large wine producer found that 85 percent of frequent wine drinkers now believe that wine is great for both casual and formal settings.

The Gallo Consumer Wine Trends Survey suggests that wine culture is changing to include more adventurous and casual drinkers who are trying wines at a variety of prices. The survey included 1,000 frequent wine drinkers.

More than 80 percent of those surveyed said they have between one and five glasses per week, which they enjoy at a wide range of occasions.

Anyone who has visited a Trader Joe's is familiar with the company's famous house wine which sells for $2.99 a bottle. The survey suggests that this casual shift in wine culture means that drinkers are likely to try wines across a range of prices, from the very cheap to very expensive. More than one-third of the survey respondents classified themselves as a "wine adventurer." Wine snobs only made up 3 percent of respondents.

As seen with other buying trends, wine drinkers get their wine recommendations from friends, family members, and coworkers. About 85 percent of respondents said they'd be encouraged by a recommendation from a server, bartender or sommelier. Wine store employees also provide valuable recommendations for drinkers.

Younger drinkers, like millennials, are more likely than older drinkers to try a new wine if it was featured positively or prominently in the media or recommended on social media.

One shift that may surprise more traditional wine drinkers is the acceptance of boxed wine. Once seen as cheap and trashy, boxed wine has become widely accepted by both the industry and consumers alike. Boxes keep wine fresher longer and their light design makes the more portable than heavy glass bottles. Boxed wine is also more convenient and economical for large social gatherings. As the quality continues to improve, boxed wine might also increase in popularity.

Boxed wine has been around for a while, but wine in cans is still a fairly new concept. The survey found that one-fourth of frequent wine drinkers expressed interested in trying canned wine. Cans, boxes, mini bottles and tetra packs are all seen as more convenient packaging for wines brought to outdoor events.

This new casual culture is also helping some get over their fears of being judged for their choices or mispronouncing a wine's name. Both issues are still on the minds of some drinkers, but most aren't worried.

"As an industry, we must continue working to remove these barriers in order to nurture wine's expansion into everyday occasions," Stephanie Gallo said in a statement. Gallo is a third generation family member and vice president of marketing at E. & J. Gallo Winery. "By exploring the more emotional implications of wine culture and sharing these findings broadly, we hope to welcome more people into wine."