Get ready for a whole lot of "millennials are killing wine" takes.
For anyone hoping that 2019 would finally be the year that millennials stopped straightening up and flying right and instead start drinking like the world is about to end (which — come on, millennials — doesn’t it feel like we’re headed in that direction?!), well, we’re less than three weeks into the year and already a new report has landed that younger people appear to be putting a dent in the U.S. wine industry.
A new report called “US Landscapes 2019” from Wine Intelligence, a wine industry consultancy, suggests that the number of wine drinkers in the U.S. has declined, primarily driven by a “marked decline” in wine consumption by people under the age of 35. “Despite the adult population growth, a declining proportion of alcohol drinkers coupled with a decline in wine consumption frequency has caused the monthly wine drinking population to drop from 88 million in 2015 to 84 million in 2018,” a summary of the report states. “Moreover, our findings show that the proportion of frequent wine drinkers (drinking at least twice a week) among regular wine drinkers has also decreased significantly since 2015.” The report found that only 35 percent of adults were drinking wine even once a month.
“We need to realize we are in a pitched battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation. They are becoming less connected with alcohol generally, for a variety of health and lifestyle reasons. When they do choose alcohol, they now have diverse and interesting offers in spirits, beer and cider,” Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence, said according to The Drinks Business. “This report should be seen as a wake-up call to our industry’s biggest and most exciting wine market [in the U.S.]. The anecdotal information coming from the trade in the past year or so has suggested that the wine category might be losing traction with its younger drinkers, and the data for this report supports this view.”
Meanwhile, if that didn’t hit the “millennials are killing wine” nail on the head enough for you, Wine Intelligence also wrote that one of its four key findings was “US Millennials are driving a downward shift in consumer involvement with wine.” Come on, influencers! Isn’t this why you’re making the big bucks?!