Rise of ethical consumerism causing an increase in awareness of the alternative wine category
June 10, 2019
Wine Intelligence’s most recent publication, Global SOLA: Opportunities in sustainable, organic & lower alcohol wine 2019, takes a multi-market, multi-category in-depth view of the alternative wine sector and opportunities within it. For the report, Wine Intelligence has developed an ‘Opportunity Index,’ which crosses 15 global wine markets to determine where SOLA wines have the greatest chance of success and which of the individual product types within the group might work best.
According to the report, awareness of SOLA wines is growing in all but one of the 13 categories tracked*. With the rise of ethical consumerism from niche to mainstream, consumers are now increasingly paying attention to the impact of their purchasing habits on their own health, and that of the environment generally. This global health and wellness trend appears to be the primary driver for increasing awareness of SOLA wines. Wine consumers are increasingly looking for certification of ethical practices, and this is becoming increasingly found on wine labels.
The data from the report shows that younger consumers are the key demographic that present the most opportunity for alternative wines due to their open-minded attitudes and willingness to invest time, education and money into their health. Young wine drinkers are not only more likely to purchase alternative wines such as organic, Fairtrade or sustainable wines compared with older drinkers, but are also more willing in general to pay a premium for wine in the off- and on-trade. However, awareness in some categories, such as lower alcohol and non alcohol wine, has not yet translated into higher purchase levels or intent to purchase.
More specifically, organic wine ranks as the first in the global SOLA wine opportunity index for the second year in a row, and first in terms of opportunity amongst trade members representing 52 markets. The main opportunities for organic wines derive from the rise in ethical engagement from both consumers and industry professionals, particularly in Finland and Sweden, despite consumers’ weariness of the definition of the term organic.
Wine Intelligence COO Richard Halstead comments: “As a highly visible and valued agricultural product, wine is on the frontline of trends relating to health, wellbeing, and the environment generally. This report supports the widespread belief within the wine industry that the 21st century consumer is going to require a lot more genuine progress in terms of developing sustainable and environmentally sound wine production techniques, delivering a product that aligns with their need to live a healthier and more balanced life.”
*Increasing awareness in: Organic wine, sustainably produced wine, environmentally friendly wine, preservative free wine, sulphite free wine carbon neutral winery, lower alcohol wine, organs / skin contact wine, biodynamic wine, non-alcoholic wine, vegan wine, vegetarian wine. Decreasing awareness: Fairtrade wine
About the report:
This report is the second annual SOLA report published by Wine Intelligence. In 2018, Wine Intelligence incorporated consumer feedback from over 12,000 consumers to calculate the index for alternative wine opportunity across all 11 markets. In order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of alternative wine opportunity throughout the world, the 2019 global SOLA wine opportunity index includes five additional markets. These markets are Belgium, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain. Ireland has been excluded from the 2019 index.
Additionally, the Global SOLA 2019 report also includes tracking against 10 markets examined in the 2018 global SOLA wine opportunity index to better understand how alternative wine opportunity has, or has not, changed in each market within the past year. Position differences in rank, along with the corresponding final index score differences are included both on a global level and an individual country level.
About Wine Intelligence Ltd:
Wine Intelligence was founded in 2002 to support the global wine industry in understanding customers better. The company conducts insights and consultancy projects with trade and consumer respondents around the world and is now established as the world’s leading research-led insights, branding and marketing strategy consultancy for the wine sector. Our active clients, who include some of the largest wine businesses in the world, now number over 100 companies and organisations.