Declining wine consumption a global trend

Recent evidence suggests that consumers were “switching”, which means alternating between alcohol and non-alcohol drinks to lower their alcohol intake. Pexels

Declining wine consumption in New Zealand is a worrisome trend for the wine industry. Consumption per capita of all wine has declined by 15.3% in the last decade, while consumption of New Zealand wine has fallen by an even scarier 34.7% in the same period.

Consumers are increasingly thinking about alcohol consumption and are thinking about different ways of controlling or moderating what they drink.

It may be of little comfort to wine producers but it seems that falling wine consumption per capita may be a global trend. The UK-based wine market research company, Wine Intelligence, surveyed regular (who drink wine at least once a month) wine drinkers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK and USA and found that 39% of them claim to be moderating their wine consumption.

Moderating could mean drinking less alcohol on certain occasions, reducing the strength of their drinks, or choosing not to drink at all on some occasions.

Recent evidence suggests that consumers were “switching”, which means alternating between alcohol and non-alcohol drinks to lower their alcohol intake, for example, having a glass of water between each glass of wine. There appears to be a trend toward reduction rather than abstinence.

Millennials (those around 40) appear to be the strongest moderators. Generation Z (from the legal drinking age to 24) typically consume alcohol when socialising. When the pandemic reduced the opportunity to socialise their consumption fell.

In the UK a decade ago 50% of adults aged 18 to 24 were regular wine drinkers but today that figure has fallen to 24%.

Generation Xs, boomers and seniors are still enjoying wine with a lot of the volume coming from the over 55s. Nonetheless, consumers are increasingly thinking about alcohol consumption and are thinking about different ways of controlling or moderating what they drink.


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