The global wine industry remains resilient to macroeconomic volatility, focused on its historic Western European bastion and driven by a rising wave of red still light grape varietals pouring into China. Facing extensive fragmentation constraints and lacking the clout of truly global brands, the category is going through a transformative period as post-boomer drinking habits bring radical innovation to the fore.
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Having avoided severe declines even in the depths of the Great Recession- although also inevitably impacted - global wine retains and witnesses further momentum in its upward trajectory.
Still light grape wine, the segment’s Western European bastion and the weight of growing red varietals are still dominating developments. The shift in balance towards Asia Pacific continues unabated.
Beyond maturity levels and per capita consumption gaps, political volatility, legislative issues and changes, demographics and a number of macroeconomic factors should also be taken into account when analysing wine and its future.
With no brand remotely securing global clout and equity, the theoretical opportunity to create it on the back of a generic, affordable and non-provenance- orientated offering is present. However, establishing a globally convincing narrative and universal equity will remain a challenge.
The rise of packaging formats such as cans or bag in box, the consistent growth of metal screw closures at the expense of cork and the millennial demographic finally coming of age and embracing alternative concepts are paving the way for a more casual and democratised category.
While red varietals enjoy a widening range of offerings and the gravitational pull of Chinese consumption, rosé boasts affordability and unpretentiousness and white can provide avenues for growth in otherwise mature markets.
Flavour sophistication on the one hand and low manipulation - a more moderated and realistic version of the natural movement - new gadgets, the social media revolution and low ABV varietals will spearhead innovation in the short to medium term.