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Young people love wine and seek to learn more about it. Quality and territory on top to choose it

“Milan Wine Week” 2022: Gen Z and Millenials at the center of “Vintage 2.0: wine for digital natives”, Swg survey for Carrefour Italia

Younger people like wine, but they don’t know too much about it, despite considering it more than just a drink; on the contrary, for almost everyone it is a symbol of excellence and culture. Organoleptic characteristics and territory are the first elements of choice, while, belying many studies, aesthetics and notoriety are in the last positions. This is the extreme summary that emerges from the survey “Vintage 2.0: wine for digital natives” by Swg for Carrefour, in “Milano Wine Week 2022”, of which the French supermarket chain is main partner. And which confirms that if something has been understood about the Millenials, about Generation Z, the younger generation, there is still much to investigate. According to the data, young people particularly appreciate wine, which is unrivaled by Millenials (88%) and, among alcoholic beverages, is second only to beer for Gen Z (60%). However, both generations - 40% of Millenials and 44% of Gen Z - report that they are not particularly informed, revealing an interesting area of focus for large-scale retail, an outlet that as many as 69% of Gen Z and 71% of Millenials choose when it comes to buying wine. Wine, as mentioned, maintains its prestige even among the very young, confirming that it is much more than just a drink: over 80% of Millenials and Generation Z consider it an Italian excellence and 87% emphasize how it encapsulates history, culture and tradition. This means that, when it comes to wine, as many as 60% of Gen Z and 67% of Millenials are more interested in consuming it with awareness and buying it by paying attention - first and foremost - to organoleptic characteristics, the link with the territory where it is produced and the tradition it embodies. Among the different drivers of choice, aesthetics and bottle notoriety hold the last position. The growing attention of young people to the world of wine is confirmed by the active search for information during the buying experience. If most young people choose the supermarket, 37% of Gen Z and 53% of Millennials buy directly from wine producers. But what is most surprising for Gen Z, considering that we are talking about the so-called “digital natives”, is the figure for online: only 18%, in fact, buy wine on the Internet.
Decisive in purchasing habits is the presence of an expert who can tell them about the characteristics of different wines and recommend the bottle best suited to their needs. A service that 73% of young people seek and do not find in supermarkets, where they also find a lack of wines produced by artisanal wineries and small producers (51%) and typical wines at km 0 (50%). A figure that, on the surface, might be surprising but, in reality, perfectly, in line with the growing attention to conscious consumption of the new generations: in fact, 20% declare that they prefer to deal directly with sellers and receive advice, for a real buying experience.
“The new generations’ desire for a return to their roots is visible not only in their choice of wine”, said Antonio Capaldo, head of Feudi di San Gregorio, among the reference groups in Italian wine, on stage with Marianna Velenosi, at the top of the family winery, among the wine references of the Marche region, and with Lorenzo Cafissi, Carrefour Italia wine manager, “but also in other consumer choices, from travel to clothing. What we record is that young people are increasingly asking wine producers for a commitment to the territory that necessarily passes through 360-degree sustainability. Sustainability that for us certainly concerns the product but inevitably also the relationship with employees and supply chain partners: hence our choice to be a Benefit company and to achieve Equalitas and B Corp certifications”.
“Precisely in order to respond to the needs of the new generations, and also to contribute to the spread of a culture of “drinking well”, that is, drinking less, but better, Carrefour”, a note explains, “is committed to the democratization of the world of wine, to make it increasingly accessible and attractive even in the eyes of this new target. In line with its commitment to the enhancement of the excellence of made in Italy, Carrefour is developing in its stores a wine offer of high quality and able to meet the most diverse needs. In particular, thanks to a careful selection of suppliers, with whom it is committed to maintaining valuable relationships, and the creation of more than 50 Carrefour-branded references designed directly with local producers”.
“We are pursuing an important path of renewal in the area of wine”, says Christophe Rabatel, Ceo of Carrefour Italia, “which concerns both a new language with which to communicate our offer and a mutual and constant confrontation with our suppliers. The results of this research show us that much more can be done to engage the new generations and make culture on a topic as important as wine. As large-scale retail operators we have a great responsibility in addressing the right messages and we are confident that we can do a lot to enhance this precious product in an inclusive and balanced way. For us, enhancing made in Italy also means contributing to the export of Italian products: the Carrefour Group has recently centralized and entrusted the Italy-based team with the responsibility of developing the strategy and purchases of Italian wine for all countries”.

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