Younger US Consumers Turn to Red Wine - and Non-Alc

In its latest annual report, US online retailer, Drizly, reveals that the youngest wine drinkers in the US say they are going to drink more red wine - or non-alcoholic beverages. Wine also seems to be a popular gift.

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Preferences for red wine or non alcoholic drinks (Photo: Andrey Cherkasov/Adobe Stock)
Preferences for red wine or non alcoholic drinks (Photo: Andrey Cherkasov/Adobe Stock)

Every year, Drizly, the US online wine retail site that was bought last year by Uber for over $1bn runs a survey of wine drinking trends.

This year’s report – the fourth – reveals that Gen Z, the generation born between the mid to late 1990s and the 2010s, and the youngest consumers of alcohol in the US where the minimum drinking age is 21, surprisingly named red wine as the drink they most looked forward to buying this year - ahead of hard seltzer and Tequila, both of which are booming.

Even more strikingly, of the 1,000 respondents to Drizly’s survey, this cohort appeared to be keener red wine buyers than their older siblings, parents and grandparents. With fewer bills to pay, perhaps, they are also the generation ready to spend most on alcohol for casual get-togethers.

More Gifts

Another trend identified by Drizly from its own business is that giving alcohol – including wine seems to be increasing in popularity at times other than Thanksgiving and Father’s Day with which it was traditionally associated in the US. Between 2020 and 2021, gifts grew as a proportion of purchases on the platform by 66%, though the pandemic may have had some influence on this behaviour.

Popularity of tequila is set to rise too, though bourbon is still booming. RTDs are also on a roll, with 73% of respondents saying they are likely to enjoy a ready-to-drink cocktail – especially one based on tequila - at home in 2022. By contrast, over a third said they would be preparing fewer cocktails themselves. Perhaps, like breadmaking, this is an activity that relied on pandemic lockdown for some of its appeal.

Finally, non-alcoholic drinks are attracting younger consumers, many more of whom are switching away from alcohol than their seniors. Only 8% of Boomers (1946-64) and 15% of Gen X (1965-80) are following this trend, while the figures for Gen Z and Millennials (1981-1995) are 38% and 15% respectively. The principal reason for embracing alcohol-free drinks is ‘healthier lifestyle’, with men (49%) being even clearer on this than women (36%). While the biggest growth has been in non-alcoholic beer, sales of zero-alcohol wine rose by 300% in 2021

Of course, it is always dangerous to place too much reliance on a single survey, but the Drizly report is always worth taking seriously because of the data the platform gains through $113m worth of online transactions it conducts for over 2,500 retailers in the US and Canada.



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