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VICTOR, N.Y. -- When it comes to who is drinking wine, three emerging consumer segments comprise more than half of the wine-drinking population in the United States.
According to Project Genome, The Evolution of the Wine Consumer -- a study conducted by Constellation Brands -- the three emerging segments based on purchase behavior, preferences and taste profiles are Engaged Newcomers, Everyday Loyals and Price Driven consumers.
The study found that Engaged Newcomers make up 12 percent of wine consumers, are described as young, new to the category and interested in learning more, and see wine as a big part of socializing. Everyday Loyals make up 20 percent of wine consumers, drink win as part of their regular routine and stick with a brand they like. Price Driven consumers account for 21 percent of wine drinkers, believe they can buy good wine without spending a lot and cite price as a top consideration.
These three groups will have significant influence on the future direction of the wine industry, according to Dale Stratton, vice president of strategic insights for Constellation Brands, an international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits based in Victor, N.Y.
In addition, the study identified three other segments that round out the six types of wine consumers. They are Overwhelmed (19 percent), Image Seekers (18 percent) and Enthusiasts (10 percent).
Overwhelmed consumers drink wine, but it does not play an important role in their lives and they do not enjoy shopping for wine. Image Seekers say how others perceive them is important and choose a wine that says the right thing about them. Enthusiasts love everything about the wine experience.
This new study is the latest installment in Constellation Brands' 10-year Project Genome, which takes the pulse of the wine consumer. Understanding the entire landscape of wine consumers and what motivates them helps industry partners better deliver against consumer expectations, according to the company.
"As one of the largest consumer research projects ever conducted by the wine industry, Project Genome provides industry-leading research to improve the overall buying experience for today's increasingly savvy wine drinkers." Stratton said. "By understanding the six distinct types of wine drinkers we identified in this study, we help our retail and distributor partners more effectively reach consumers, build education and help wine drinkers by providing recommendations and developing products that meet their preferences, palates and price point."
The types of wine consumers identified in the current phase of the study are significant because of their collective buying power, and also because they are increasingly engaged in the types of brands they select. Some select wine on price, others become loyal to specific labels and still others are new to the category, but eager to learn more. But all of them seek a better understanding of wines and the distinctions between them, the company explained.
Project Genome, The Evolution of the Wine Consumer included more than 100 questions asked to 4,000 U.S. consumers and 2,946 Canadian consumers who purchase and consume wine at least once every three months. Interviews were conducted in November and December 2012 in the U.S. and Canada, and in February and March 2013 in Quebec.