Wine Vision, the global wine industry conference, wrapped up this week in London, and identified a key future trends for the global wine industry. I was extremely pleased to see that out of all of them, South Africa seems to have already adopted more than a few.
Last week we discussed the increasing growth in millennials drinking wine, and looking to food and wine pairings to inform their wine choices. This has also been identified as a massive trend in the global industry; with all wine brands realising the future potential of the younger audience, but also that there are challenges present when communicating with them.
This is not an audience that one can talk down to, or even try to educate. This audience is fiercely independent and insists on making their own decisions; the only influence that matters is that of their own peers.
They also communicate mainly on digital platforms, so digital is a huge communication driver for wine around the world.
“If wine brands are going to get anywhere near the consumer impact of an Apple or a Nike”, said ad exec Stephen Woodord of Lexis Agency, “they need to understand that being social is not just a new way of marketing, it’s the new way of doing business.”
The rise of RTD’s and ciders has also been infringing on wine consumption figures, so in order to compete wine must become as accessible and easy to choose as those beverages.
This soon after Moet & Chandon launched a heavily-branded vending machine selling mini bottles for Christmas in Selfridges, something that 12 months ago few would have believed possible.
Another brand jumping on this bandwagon is Amazon, a brand that is looking squarely at the wine and alcoholic drinks sector as it sees the “consumables” sector as a vital part of its future growth strategy.
Interesting times ahead, and I feel that South Africa is most definitely up for the challenge.