High-End Wine Consumers

High-End Wine Consumers

Affluent Wine Consumers: Profile

The percentage of wine drinkers/consumers that are affluent in the US is about 4%.

Affluent Wine Consumers: Wine Purchasing Behaviors

Affluent wine consumers are influenced by a wine’s legacy when making a purchase and are more likely to purchase wine from a winery. Only about 3% of wine drinkers spend $100 or more on a bottle of wine.

  • Affluent wine consumers are generally knowledgeable about wine, and they are influenced by a wine’s origin when making a purchase. They don’t only want to know about the wine’s taste or condition of the bottle, but also the wine’s legacy.
  • Affluent wine consumers go for a broad range of wine.
  • Affluent wine consumers consider the decision on what wine to purchase as a very important decision. They participate in more conversation about what wine to buy.
  • The group is also less likely to find the wine they want or like in a retail outlet. Affluent wine consumers do not mind traveling to purchase wine and were more likely to travel to the winery to purchase wine than less wealthy wine drinkers.
  • A study found that consumers buying wines that cost $50 or more rely more on information/reviews provided by wine critics when making a purchasing decision.
  • Affluent wine consumers are more likely to purchase wine online than any other group.
  • While we couldn’t find data specifically on how much affluent wine drinkers spend on a bottle of wine, our research revealed that most American frequent wine drinkers spend less than $15 on a bottle of wine. Hence, those who spend more than $15 are considered high spenders by researchers, and 28% of frequent wine drinkers spend over $15 regularly on a bottle of wine.
  • Also, research revealed that 46% of wine drinkers spend $50-99 on a bottle of wine on a special occasion. About 3% of wine drinkers spend $100 or more on a bottle of wine.
  • Affluent consumers spend about 1% of their income on alcoholic beverages, with 68% of them spending on wine regularly.

Wine Collectors in the United States

Although credible data on the total wine collectors in the US is unavailable, research suggests that the total number is less than 4.62 million people. The average wine collector in the US is a wine connoisseur, and they have a wine collection worth between $50,000 and $100,000 on average.

  • Wine collectors are typically defined as people who buy wines to keep as an asset which may be sold in the future.
  • The conventional definition doesn’t define wine collectors by a specific number of bottles in their storage or cellar (such as someone who has more than a certain amount of bottles of wine) but by the reason for the purchase. In essence, it is the intention of buying a wine that differentiates a wine collector from a wine consumer.
  • Data on the total number of wine collectors in the US is unavailable, however, wine collectors typically have advanced knowledge of wine or are wine connoisseurs. Only 15% of wine consumers described themselves as having advanced knowledge of wines, while 3% described themselves as connoisseurs.
  • Wine collectors typically keep wines to age in hope of selling it in the future for more money. A survey by researchers at Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute found that 6% of wine consumers reported that they prefer to buy and save wine for it to age.
  • Although not everyone that keeps wine to age is a collector, all wine collectors generally keep wine to age. Hence, it can be reasonable deduced that wine collectors make up less than 6% of the total wine consumers.
  • The total number of wine consumers in the US is about 77 million. That suggests that wine collectors in the US will be less than 4.62 million people (6% * 77 million).
  • Wine collectors are generally wine connoisseurs and the average wine connoisseur in the US has a collection worth between $50,000 and $100,000. If we assume that only the number of wine collectors in the US is similar to the number of wine connoisseurs, it would mean that the total number of wine collectors in the US is about 2.31 million people (77 million * 3%).
  • Although women consume more wine than men in the US in general, it is estimated that about 90% of wine collectors in the US are men.

Wine Collectors: Psychographics

Wine collectors are generally optimistic and confident and have a good risk appetite. They are often interested in other collectibles such as art and enjoy traveling and exploring.

  • Wine Collectors generally prefer wines that are likely to rise in value over time and as such like consuming literature and data from experts predicting which wines are likely to appreciate in value.
  • Wine collectors are often interested in other collectibles such as art. A huge portion of wine collectors are affluent people in the US and their interests include travel, charity donation, apparel, personal transportation (cars, aircraft, boats, etc), dining, entertainment, among others.
  • Wine collectors like traveling, especially wine tourism. They typically start out as wine enthusiasts, and they are interested in attending wine tasting events and discussions about fine wine.
  • A study found that consumers buying wines that cost $50 or more rely more on information/reviews provided by wine critics when making a purchasing decision.
  • Wine Collectors are typically affluent and confident and are used to getting their way.
  • Wine collectors are also quite nostalgic. Many keep bottles they will never drink and simply gain satisfaction from looking at the label and knowing they have the wine in their cellar.
  • Wine collectors are also investors and are such are quite optimistic and have significant risk appetite.

Affluent Consumers: Psychographics

Affluent wine consumers have a very active life and are very optimistic. They also love traveling and conversing about wine.

  • Affluent wine consumers love collecting wine, with such collectors having wine collection worth up to $100,000.
  • Although data specifically about the psychographic profile and interests of affluent wine consumers are unavailable, research by Statista shows that 68% of people with an income of $250,000 and above regularly purchase wine.
  • The above shows that the majority of affluent people in the US are wine consumers. The interest of affluent consumers based on their spending include travel, artwork, collectibles, charity donation, apparel, personal transportation (cars, aircraft, boats, etc), dining, entertainment, among others.
  • Affluent wine consumers are also more likely to travel for wine tourism than any other group of wine consumers.
  • Affluent wine consumers are more likely to purchase wine online than any other group.
  • Affluent wine consumers enjoy conversing about wine.
  • Affluent wine consumers also tend to be very optimistic and have a very active social life.
  • A study found that affluent wine drinkers were more likely to say that they made minimal changes to their lifestyle as a result of COVID-19 and are less nervous about returning to on-premise drinking after the lockdown than people with lower income.
  • Affluent wine consumers favor brands such as Dom Pérignon, Ca’bolani Estate Prosecco, Da Luca, Andre, Zadetto, Ruggeri, among others.

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