Restaurants and wine producers, get your grapes ready. Millennials are here to take the wine industry by storm. U.S. wine consumption dramatically increased when the first group of Millennials reached the legal drinking age in the early 2000’s. It continues to grow today, Millennials accounting for 27% of total U.S. consumption as reported by Wine Industry Advisor. Restaurants can start taking advantage of the peaked interest of wine by learning Millennial’s habits, wants and needs.
70 million Millennials age 21 and up are responsible for 30% of the weekly wine buys. Uncorkd’s Beverage Preference Survey shows that the preference for wine increases with age, meaning that as they grow, so will their expanding palate. Wine vendors must realize that Millennial’s taste for wine will need to be captured by a new sales strategy.
Millennials are influenced by the technology that is ever-present in their day to day lives. In fact, they are two times more likely to use social media than their older counterparts. Their technology-savvy lifestyle allows them to have information at their fingertips. Having that type of accessibility brings comfort and interest. Restaurants can better relate to this age group by providing them with the technology they crave, while presenting information in an easy and quick way. Using iPad menus will give restaurants a way to stand out to the Millennial generation and tend to their normal routine. Restaurants will also find it beneficial to create a social media presence to foster two-way communication and build relationships that extend past the restaurant’s doors.
Millennials also value authenticity. They are constantly searching for a story behind what they’re consuming, which makes wine the perfect beverage of choice. Each winemaker has a story to tell with their product. The grape, how it was grown and its journey to the bottle are unique in each circumstance. Majority of Millennials actively search out a good wine and drink selection when deciding on a restaurant. Having detailed descriptions of the wine and pictures of the label will pull them in and make them more inclined to purchase a glass or bottle.
The hike of wine consumption does not mean that Millennials have the monetary reserve to be spending $40 on a bottle of wine at a restaurant, interesting story or not. Price is the second thing Millennials look for when searching a wine list. Restaurants should adjust their menus to offer a wide range of prices that reflect several income levels. Those looking for a more adventurous experience might splurge to try a wine that goes with their exotic meal.