Red, White, and…. Green Wine??

It’s now been a few weeks since Wine Market Council rolled out the results of their Green Wine market study. The survey, entitled “Green Wine Study: U.S. Wine Consumer Attitudes Toward Organic, Sustainable, and Bio-dynamic Production” was based on information from 1,159 high-frequency wine drinkers.

While the complete report is only available to Wine Market Council members, some of the top line details have been made publicly available, and further detail will be provided at WMC’s annual meeting on May 11th, at the CIA in Copia in Napa.

Some of the biggest, though not all that surprising takeaways, included:

  • Consumers have a far better understanding of what “made from organic grapes” means than they do what “sustainable” or “bio-dynamic” mean.
  • For most consumers, “organic wine” and “made from organic grapes” held similar meaning. Of course in reality, this two terms could not be more different as explained in a previous post found here.

Perhaps more surprising was data suggesting that a consumers commitment to organic food, does not necessarily translate to a similar commitment to organic wine. Though, they were willing to spend slightly more for organic wine, based largely on previous experience.

So what’s the big takeaway here?

I think it’s safe to say that the global wine market is abuzz with the potential growth in organic, natural, bio-dynamic, and sustainable wines but it may take some time before consumer knowledge catches up to the true meaning of this various terms.

To put it into food context, do you think most consumers actually know the differences between: Low Fat, Reduced Fat, Less Fat, and Fat Free? I don’t think so. And yet, those terms of been around the market for much longer, and in a much wider context than bio-dynamic wines vs. organic wines.

So patience, consumer education, and consistency are going to be critical to building a wine customer base that truly understands what each of these terms means. With that said, many wine consumers also have a passion for learning about wines (in a way that perhaps most food products don’t enjoy) and so hopefully that enthusiasm for more information helps these terms take root faster.

Regardless of the outcome, it should be an interesting next few years in this space as regions, countries, and consumers adapt to this shifting landscape.

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