Industry News

Highlights from Wine Market Council's Sixth Annual U.S. Wine Consumer Trends Presentation

When we attended this event in January, we learned that this year marks the seventeenth year of consecutive growth of wine consumption in the U.S., (although growth rates did slow during the 2 recessions). One of the most interesting finds from the Wine Market Council's survey dealt with social media. The council revealed over half of all wine drinkers are on Facebook, 41% of core wine drinkers (those who drink wine daily, several times a week or once a week) use a smart phone, and of that segment, 39% have wine, food or restaurant applications on their phones, whereas only 25% of marginal drinkers (those who drink wine less than weekly) use a smart phone.

Our Thoughts
These impressive figures for social media usage amongst wine drinkers confirm the growing importance of social media for the food and beverage industry. However, before diving into social media, it is important to have a clearly defined strategy and objective, and to recognize how your specific business can best use social media --which we here at Vibrant Rioja also strive to do. Identify which channels or platforms best suit your needs and reach your audience, and remember that social media is all about transparency and authenticity.

Increase in Travel and Tourism Spending

The Commerce Department recently announced an 8% increase in travel and tourism spending during the third quarter of 2010, the largest quarterly increase in 6 years. Passenger air transportation, lodging and restaurant expenditures comprise much of the recent growth in this sector. Additionally, the Commerce Department forecasts 6-9% growth through 2015 for international visits.
National Restaurant Association, February 15, 2011

Our Thoughts
This impressive growth is good news for the travel and tourism industry and, accordingly, for the restaurant industry. The substantial growth is especially good news for small and medium-sized businesses as consumers are beginning to travel more and spend a little more on their accommodations and travel activities.

The Importance of Millenials for the Alcohol Beverage Landscape

Over the next 10 years, Millenials will account for 40% of Americans over age 21. In a recent study, Nielsen researched Millennial consumer attitudes and preferences in relation to alcohol. The researchers noted that Millenials are significantly more likely to trade back up to more expensive alcohol brands as the economy recovers and to equate product cost with quality. Millenials also have a growing interest in wine and are game to experiment with new comestibles.
The Nielsen Wire, January 11, 2011

Our Thoughts
Understanding the versatile, social media savvy Millennial will be essential for the food and beverage industry. This large and influential generation is eager to experiment and willing to spend money on luxury items.

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