April 18, 2007 15:08 ET

What Millennials in the US and Around the World Are Saying About Wine

VINEXPO Study Describes Wine Trends for This Influential Group

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2007 -- Today in New York City, Mr. Robert Beynat, General Manager of VINEXPO, presented a revealing study titled, "20-25 Year-Olds and Wine" (21-25 for the US) carried out by Brulé, Ville & Associés (BVA) in the US, France, Japan, Belgium and the UK. This VINEXPO study provides an in-depth look into young people's perceptions and expectations of wine and what motivates as well as hinders their consumption, along with identifying trends and the potential for development and growth of this segment.

Who participated in the study? It was two groups of 10 people per country, both male and female, students and professionals, independent and living with parents. All participants were occasional drinkers. This 2006 study is an update of similar research commissioned by VINEXPO 10 years ago.

Key Findings for US and Global Youth:

Relationship with Wine:

Young people in all countries thought that wine was the "healthiest alcoholic beverage," though each country proclaimed a different level of familiarity. Those surveyed in the US said they are "not very familiar with wine" and it is only "occasionally served in their families" and "that's European culture."

Perceptions of Wine:

According to the Americans and Japanese interviewed, wine is frequently associated with "sophistication" and is somewhat "a little snobbish and pompous." While in France and Belgium, they believe wine can embody two different complementary facets: the "noble chateau and grand estate" and the "rustic, countryside farmer who makes his own wine."

All countries agreed that wine doesn't have a "young image," saying "the classic wine drinker is older, 30 or 35-40 with experience, comfortable income and married." However, this makes wine "more attractive," as they defined a wine drinker as "refined, educated and cultivated."

The young people also agreed that it requires an effort to like wine, that it "comes with time and a certain amount of perseverance and education." An American said, "You need to educate your palate... marry the wine with different sorts of cheese."

What Drives Wine Consumption:

All countries thought that wine portrays a "mature" image, saying, "My friends who have jobs, who are starting to earn more, tend to prefer wine. They are entering into an older world." They also believed that "a wine drinker seems more responsible" and that, "it's a sign that you're getting better behaved and less wild."

In France and Belgium, they mentioned that wine bars "used to be old fashioned, but now they are beginning to attract younger people." The UK added that "wine has become trendy" and that "you can find it in fashionable venues." The US commented that "branding" has made "wine more fun" and "younger."

2/2 What Millennials in the US and Around the World Are Saying about Wine

What Hinders Consumption:

All of the young people interviewed thought that good wine "is expensive" saying they "feared the quality" of inexpensive wine. They also disliked the "elitist wine culture," saying that, "wine connoisseurs have a vocabulary that puts you off." An American added, "There is a lot of snobbery and pompousness, it must take years of experience to learn."

Young people also commented on how "difficult it is to select a wine" and that there is "too much diversity," also "it's complicated, there are lots of wines and each one is different, you can make mistakes" and "there are too many brands and too many styles." They also worried about "what a wine is going to taste like, and will it match with the meal."

General Expectations of Wine:

Everyone thought wine's image is "evolving" and "getting more popular." An American felt that wine is, "less exclusive than before" and that "wine is being marketed today and is appealing to other classes of the population."

Marketing to this Age Group:

They all want wine's image to be "younger" and "more accessible" and to "take the myth out of wine culture." Everyone liked "varietal wines" that are "light, fruity and refreshing." The US, UK and Belgium mentioned an interest in "wine-based cocktails."

The countries differed on packaging, as France, Belgium and the UK preferred "more traditional formats" that "suggested a link with the terroir." The US and Japan were "open to something new" such as "individual serving sizes" and "different bottle shapes and colors."

Wine Branding:

Branding is particularly attractive to the Americans and Japanese interviewed, saying that they would be interested in "packaging designed for young people" and "promotions with goodies and cool advertising." In the UK, they felt that branding "must not be obviously targeted towards young drinkers" and that they need to "keep the serious, traditional side of wine."

Compared to VINEXPO Study 10 Years Ago:

Wine is now consumed "more casually," and not in the "formal setting of the dinner table or with a restaurant meal only." Brands have made wine "more accessible." Young people now believe that wine consumption is "more controlled than other alcohol."

Finally, wine is "more trendy" today than ever before and young people view wine as a "quality" product that they will drink "more frequently" and "in greater variety" in the future.

For a copy of the study or more information, please email

Contact Information

  • France Media Contact:
    Mathilde Carreau Gaschereau
    Press Attaché
    Tel : +33 (0)5 56 56 01 69
    Email Contact

    US Media Contact:
    Vinexpo c/o Sopexa USA
    Pieter van Vorstenbosch
    Director of PR
    Tel: (212) 477 9800 x 108
    Email Contact