Allegrini 2018

Women and young people revolutionize the market, the auctions and the language of fine wines

In the USA and UK women represent 30% of the consumption of fine wines, in China and Hong Kong, half of the turnover. And auctions are getting younger
Young people and women in the fine wines market

The revolution, so long awaited, on the market of wine consumption, starting from the top of the pyramid, and therefore from fine wines, is coming. The global research institute for the future of fine wines “Areni” is sure of it and, in a research analyzed and published by “Forbes”, tells how more and more women and young people are approaching the world of fine wines, historically the prerogative of men over 60 and with high income, who on average spend 75 dollars for a bottle of wine. To accelerate a trend that could give new life to the sector, technology, pandemic and social changes in progress, starting from the four reference markets: USA, UK, China and Hong Kong.
Probably one of the most surprising results to emerge from the study was the increase in the number of women buying fine wines, in different ways according to the markets. So, while in the UK and US, men represent 70% of fine wine consumers, in China and Hong Kong the balance is even, with 50% men and 50% women. Even Sotheby’s has seen a surge in the number of women participating in its wine auctions, with an increase of up to 22% in some auctions, thus confirming the growth of the specific weight of women in the fine wine market, which auction houses must now also learn to involve more. Similarly, there has been an increase in the number of young consumers. According to Jamie Richie, global head of Sotheby’s, “we are getting more and more bids from 30-40 year old collectors. When I came in in 1990, the average age was 65. Now we average 40 in all of our markets”.
The quantitative study also supported this trend, with an average of 38% of respondents, in the 4 countries considered, being under 35 years old. For this generation, the value references associated to fine wines are also changing: natural, exciting and romantic, thus, take the place of heritage and elegance, concepts to which more mature consumers are instead linked. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are also more likely to buy their wine online and through apps, especially in China. In the United States, younger consumers expressed great appreciation for the possibility of following producers on social media. Perhaps most significantly, in the U.S., only 42% of younger consumers rely on strong brands, compared to 71% of older consumers.
The ones who buy fine wines, however, are also part of the richest part of the population: the study, in fact, showed that consumers of this category, as it is easily imaginable, belong to the last income quintile, in every country analyzed. In all, there are 5.4 million fine wine consumers in the United States, who buy wines from 75 dollars upwards, 35 million consumers in China, half a million fine wine consumers in Hong Kong and 2.6 million in the United Kingdom.

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