7 Wine Trends to Watch in 2023
- by Whiskey Media
2023 is going to be a year of remarkable resilience for brands in the wine industry. We'll see clearly strong brands pull ahead of the pack as they make efficient and effective choices in the marketing.
2020 surely shook up the wine & spirits industry… on top of everything else. Now, officially moving into the post-covid era, consumers and connoisseurs alike are looking to see how wine brands are pivoting in 2023.
Fueled by technology and alternative style, we can expect the production, marketing, and sales of wine to start appealing more to Millennial and Generation Z customers, who are quickly becoming the most valuable purchasing demographic.
From getting your next wine cocktail recipe on Tiktok, to saying ‘cheers’ with a can of N/A wine - the shift to the new normal in wine has already started. Here are 7 of what experts think are wine trends to watch out for in 2023:
- Wine Cocktails
- Values-based Winemaking & Natural Wine
- Non-Alcoholic Wine
- Moving Away From Glass
- Using Social Media To Sell
- E-commerce Wine Sales
- Price Point Divergence
1. Wine Cocktails
From Sangrias to Sbagliatos, wine cocktails are taking their rightful place on cocktail menus and even home bars across the globe.
With an endless permutation of recipes to make, you can see the appeal of trying to dress up a dry cava with sweet, citrusy elements or taking a hearty red and throwing in your favorite sangria additions on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Most wine cocktails don’t take much prep and are easy to make, which is more approachable to the home bartender and music to a mixologist’s ears!
Also, given the increased popularity of health & wellness in the industry, consumers are turning their focus to lower ABV cocktail alternatives. Wine cocktails are a lighter option and pose an opportunity to discover new flavor combinations that will delight guests and create a memorable drinking experience.
2. Values-based Winemaking & Natural Wine
As we mentioned, Millennial and Generation Z consumers are quickly becoming the most coveted demographic in wine & spirits, and these generations take sustainability seriously.
Questions like what pesticides were used on the grapes, if the packaging is recyclable, and how the vineyards treat their workers are becoming more and more frequent among these consumers. Not only do they want a wine that tastes good, but now they want a wine that will align with their values of creating a sustainable future.
These climate change advocates will be a huge factor in how wine brands are pivoting in 2023. Winemakers will need to rethink their vineyard strategy, possibly by opting for fewer chemicals, establishing efficient water usage, and sourcing ethical packaging.
Undoubtedly, natural wines with low intervention and biodynamic attributes will take center stage due to this trend. Let’s face it, organic is in. The growing priority in the health of ourselves and the environment is a positive one that could lead to a more sustainable industry overall.
3. Non-Alcoholic Wine
Have you heard the word “low” or “no” recently when it comes to wine or spirits? That’s because there has been a large movement by consumers to partake in low to zero-ABV adult beverages.
Even though these drinkers are not shunning alcohol entirely, the health and wellness kick that Millenials are on, or the ‘sober curious’ movement, will certainly affect the wine & spirits industry. This one may not be a phase - one third of adults in America don’t drink, and that number is climbing.
“Dry January” is gaining popularity every year, with the #soberissexy hashtag growing in usage as well. Alas, that didn’t stop the sentiment of sharing a ‘cheers’ with friends. Instead, consumers opted to clink with low or no-ABV beverages.
According to CGA, a trusted on-premise research agency, last year 23% of Dry January participants drank mocktails, while 26% tried alcohol-free wine and 22% alcohol-free spirits. Post-January, 64% of participants said they would continue to drink alcohol-free wine, given the option.
Creating a tasty, light, and low or no-ABV addition to any beverage lineup could be what makes or breaks a company on this major industry trend in the upcoming years. Plan to see an influx of low to no-ABV products on the shelf, as this is certainly one of the ways wine brands are pivoting in 2023.
4. Moving Away From Glass
When you think of wine, you probably think of wine bottles. In the past, the average consumer may have thought that a thick and heavy bottle may have signified a better choice of wine, and a screwcap meant that the winemaker went a cheap route during production. Well, this perception could change in 2023.
With the rising cost of glass, bottles have become more expensive to produce and transport. Combined with the environmental damages glass bottles entail, and the fact that drinking an entire bottle may be unappealing to health-conscious individuals, the traditional containers may start to have some competition.
In the interest of both the winemaker (cheaper production) and the consumer (healthier for the body & the planet) - smaller aluminum alternatives may start appearing on the shelves. Canned wine is making its place in the industry, especially gaining popularity for its portability and convenience suitable for every event, from stadium concerts to Sunday picnics.
We can also expect to see other glass alternatives in stock. Think more premium boxed wines, and even wine pouches.
5. Using Social Media To Sell
The age of ‘Digital Drinking’ has begun. Instead of a finding their new favorite wine at during a tasting at their local liquor store, Millennials & Gen Z’ers are now scrolling through the page of a beverage influencer to find their next drink.
There’s always something to learn through social media - so why not wine? With content that is both equally educating and entertaining, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Youtube have all become ways to pull drinkers into the wine sphere.
Some influencers can even help get your brand in front of 250,000 people with just one post. David Choi, or @winewithdavid on Tiktok, is a winemaker and influencer with a fresh, fun approach to sharing his knowledge. Boasting 258k followers, getting a feature on his page could mean meeting your Q1 goals weeks in advanced.
It’s now imperative that companies take advantage of their social media platforms as ways to access their target audience. Whether you hire a marketing firm that knows best, are consistently creating in-house content, partnering with beverage influencers, or a combination of all 3 - it’s clear that using social media to sell is a way wine brands are pivoting in 2023.
6. E-commerce Wine Sales
Speaking of Digital Drinking - it’s no surprise that wine lovers are getting targeted advertisements of their favorite vineyard’s latest release. Putting a focus on ecommerce sales are how wine brands are pivoting in 2023. New data from the ISWR predicts that alcohol ecommerce sales to exceed $40 billion by 2024, and grow 34% between 2021 and 2026.
That means in today’s technology-driven society, the most effective way to communicate to your audience is digitally. If you’re a winemaker, it’d be in your best interest to get up-to-date on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Google/Meta Analytics, Website SEO, Email Marketing, Blog Writing, Social Media Marketing, and more.
Though there’s no magic recipe for success, it’s apparent that establishing an ecommerce-focused digital marketing strategy is a critical point in competing against big industry players. The inability to adapt to the this new sphere will make a company sink or swim in 2023.
Don’t wait for the sales to come to you. Start implementing your own campaigns, or hire an expert to guide you through the process.
7. Price Point Divergence
2022 brought us an economic slowdown, which will affect how wine brands are pivoting in 2023. If we’re being blunt - the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. Customers will either be buying cheap, or buying premium, and not much in between.
According to the IMPACT Databank, a sister publication of Wine Spectator, U.S wine consumption declined 1% in 2022. The ones that couldn’t afford to keep drinking either opted out or opted cheap, which led to 75% of wine sales in America being $10 or under.
“We really have two different wine industries now,” says Rob McMillan, head of Silicone Valley Bank’s wine division. “The divergence between lower price and higher price has never been wider.”
Remember this trend when pricing your products in 2023; the ones that can afford to drink premium will pay for it, and the one’s that can’t will either hop on the sober curious movement or keep their eyes out for the lower price.
Use an Expert in the Industry to Get Ahead of the Trends
Stay on top of wine trends this year with a marketing agency that gets you. Twist & Tailor is specialized in the industry, with an entire team of bartenders-turned-marketers with expert wine knowledge to serve you best.
Get in touch to talk about your marketing vision and how we can help.