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Wine survey delivers insights into wine consumer behaviour

The inaugural Great Big Wine Survey, which was released in 2020, has elicited an overwhelming response from the wine industry. Initially planned as a lockdown project, has now become an annual event to benchmark and track trends, note shifts in behaviour, and measure progress.
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Image source: Gallo/Getty

Much like the Survey was a project born in lockdown, a new company transitioned which resulted in Southern Skies launching Vintelligence. This independently-owned business is dedicated exclusively to serving the consumer research needs of the South African wine industry with agri-economist, Pieter van Niekerk appointed to lead this new SA wine intelligence firm.

Van Niekerk says the following on the insights gained through the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey (GBWS): "The wine journey describes how long consumers have been drinking wine, helping to distinguish newer versus more experienced wine drinkers. The consumers’ position on the wine journey has been shown to influence purchasing behaviour and preference which directly impacts wine style preference.

The data from the 2021 GBWS has shown that greater volumes of wine are purchased by longer-term wine drinkers, with consumers who have been drinking wine for 10+ years purchasing more wine monthly and keeping a larger stock at home. Conversely, newer wine drinkers spend the most per bottle for at-home consumption, with young independent singles spending the most per bottle."

Accessible to everyone

As per the findings in the first GBWS, wine is seen as accessible to everyone, marking a distinct break from historic thinking which categorised wine as a more exclusive beverage. As consumers progress along their wine journey, perceptions of wine being ‘for everyone’ increase. Pricing and recommendation are the strongest drivers, followed by producer when consumers decide on their purchase.

From a packaging perspective, it is interesting to note that while the standard 750ml glass bottle remains the most preferred packaging for wine consumers, it appears that openness to alternative pack types is growing. Bag in box and cans are now available in premium brands which has opened the wine market – another benefit of the pandemic to the industry. Natural cork is still the most preferred seal of a bottle, followed by screw caps, with a preference for natural cork alternatives over synthetic corks.

As consumer engagement increases, the price paid per bottle also increases, with a higher proportion of wine bought in the R100+ category. As engagement increases, volume of wine purchased by month also increases. All these are positive indicators for the local wine industry.

Survey results webinar

All the 2021 Survey results and insights will be presented during a webinar hosted by Pieter van Niekerk who will be joined by panellists Peter McAtamney, founding principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS) along with representatives from leading independent consumer insights agency, KLA, Caitlin Bauristhene (research director and KLA Partner) and Josie Matterson (senior research manager).

Hollard Insurance Group is a sponsor of the 2021 Great Big Wine Survey. Andries Wiese, Hollard national business development manager, says: "Hollard is delighted to help make available these valuable insights to the South African wine industry. Hollard’s investment in the Great BIG Wine Survey demonstrates our ongoing commitment to business improvement underpinned by our overarching company purpose of 'securing a better future for all'."

The free-to-attend webinar, which will take place via Zoom on Thursday, 12 May 2022 from 9am to 10am, will take an in-depth look at some of the insights, answer any questions attendees may have and highlight future plans for the next Great Big Wine Survey. If you are interested in attending, register here.


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