Who are the wine consumers?

At the Wine Rack

Christopher Reckord

Thursday, October 18, 2012    

Print this page Email A Friend!

Constellation Brands is the world leader in premium wine with a portfolio of more than 100 wines, beers and spirits. Just four years ago, they executed one of the largest consumer research projects ever conducted by the wine industry to date. Conducted in the USA, this survey examined the purchases of 10,000 premium wine consumers over 18 months — and provides deeper, richer insights than ever before into premium wine consumers' buying habits and lifestyles. This is actually an updated study; the original one was done with 3,500 consumers, back in 2005.

No typical wine consumer

The original 100-question survey of 3,500 participants found that there was no single type of premium wine consumer, but rather that consumers tended to fall into one of six consumer segments: Enthusiast, Image Seeker, Savvy Shopper, Traditionalist, Satisfied Sipper and Overwhelmed. The more recent study used actual purchase data over an 18-month period and, interestingly, Constellation Brands shared the topline findings with the entire wine industry for all to benefit.

Which category are you ?

Overwhelmed — The largest group with 23% of those surveyed, they buy 13% of the wines sold. This individual likes to drink wine, but finds that there are so many wines on the shelves.

They sometimes select a wine based on the label, but they find it confusing since they can't always tell from the label how the wine is going to taste. They would love to have someone to help them with their choices. Initially White Zinfandel was their favourite wine, but they do venture on to buy other wines as they sometimes can't recall what they last bought.

Image Seekers — The second largest group with 20% of the market, they buy the second largest amount(24%) of wine. For them, wine is a status symbol. Discovering wine is new to them. They only have a basic knowledge of wine, which is driven by their awareness of the latest trends. Merlot is the varietal of choice for members of this group. When they are not sure what to buy, they typically go for the wine that's more expensive. They are influenced by unusual facts and lifestyle messaging.

Traditionalist — The third largest group (16% ) that buys 15% of the wine. They enjoy wines from established wineries as they feel like these wineries have perfected the art of winemaking. They like to have a choice of well-known brands and they don't try new brands very often. They believe wine makes an occasion more formal and prefer entertaining friends and family at home to going out.

Savvy Shoppers — The fourth largest group (25%) buying 15% of the wines enjoys shopping for wine and discovering new brands and varietals on their own. I get a lot of personal satisfaction when they buy a great $US15 bottle of wine and only pay $US10. They shop in a variety of stores each week to find the best deals so they like to be offered a variety of wine specials and discounts. They are willing to buy 6 or 12 bottles at once so that they get an additional discount. When dining out they typically buy a glass of the house because of the value.

Satisfied sipper — The fifth largest group (14%) buys 15% of the wines although they don't know much about wine, just know what they like to drink. They usually buy the same brand. They don't enjoy the experience of buying wine so prefer to buy the 1.5l bottles. Since they usually buy the same brand, they shop at places that make it easy to find the wine that they want to buy. They don't care about shelf-talkers or signs; and they are not interested in learning more about wine. On the rare occasions when they dine out, they typically order the house wine and don't worry too much about wine and food pairing.

Enthusiast — This group buys the most wine (25%), although they are the smallest in size (12%) Members of this group consider themselves passionate and knowledgeable about the total wine experience. They entertain at home often and enjoy wine with friends. Wine is a global experience and they constantly seek additional knowledge and they appreciate and understand sophisticated wine information. At retail, they read labels and enjoy lingering in the wine section. They like to be offered both well-known as well as unique wine selections.

Which category of wine buyer do you fall into?

Christopher Reckord - Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord



Should the shift system be eliminated  in high schools?
Not All

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon