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Americans Open To Purchasing Wine From Various Countries

While wine drinking is not linked as closely to American dining and culture as it is with that of some European nations, most Americans buy and drink wine—only 38 percent say they never buy a bottle of wine. And, nearly half of U.S. adults over age 21 say they drink wine several times per month (48 percent) and more than one in five say they usually purchase four or more bottles of wine per month (22 percent).

Harris poll logoThese are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,056 adults surveyed online between Feb. 6 and 13 by Harris Interactive.

Whether it’s for convenience, cost, patriotism, personal preference or something else, a large majority of adults who buy or drink wine say they buy or drink wine from the United States (89 percent). Sizeable numbers say they buy or drink wine from Italy (37 percent), Australia (34 percent) and France (33 percent), while one in five or fewer buy or drink wine from Chile (21 percent), Spain (21 percent), Germany (20 percent) or Argentina (19 percent). Smaller numbers buy or drink wine from New Zealand (11 percent), South Africa (9 percent), Portugal (8 percent) or Brazil (6 percent) and very few buy or drink wine from Greece, Israel, Bolivia, Turkey or Poland (3 percent or less).

Despite what wine Americans are currently purchasing, half or more who buy or drink wine say they would consider purchasing wine from the U.S. (85 percent), Italy (62 percent), France (60 percent), Australia (50 percent) and Spain (50 percent). One quarter or more also would consider purchasing wine from Germany (42 percent), Argentina (38 percent), Chile (38 percent), New Zealand (38 percent), Portugal (36 percent), South Africa (31 percent), Greece (30 percent), Brazil (30 percent) and Israel (25 percent). While the numbers relating to buying and drinking habits have remained fairly constant since 2008, the numbers for consideration of each country’s wine are higher. This may indicate that while tastes evolve, habits are slower to change.

Consistent with that theory, 78 percent of adults who drink wine say they sometimes or frequently purchase a bottle of wine that they have had before. This practice is most common among older adults and women. Over half of matures, age 67 and older, say they frequently purchase a bottle of wine they have had before. This compares to 50 percent of baby boomers, age 48-66; 40 percent of Gen X, age 36-47; and just 32 percent of echo boomers, age 18-35, who say the same. Nearly half (46 percent) of women say they frequently purchase a bottle of wine they have had before compared to 41 percent of men who do.

As oenophiles know, wine can range in many things including quality, origin, taste and certainly price. When wine drinkers were asked how much they spent on the last bottle of wine they purchased, 61 percent reported paying $14 or less; 35 percent paid between $10 and $14; 26 percent paid less than $10; 20 percent paid $15-$19, 11 percent paid $20-$29 and 8 percent paid $30 or more. While it doesn’t seem that most wine drinkers regularly spend more than $30 on a bottle of wine, 34 percent say that they have spent that much before.

When it comes to how often Americans are purchasing wine, there are some generational and regional differences:

• Matures (27 percent) and baby boomers (25 percent) are more likely than echo boomers (21 percent) and Gen Xers (20 percent) to purchase four or more bottles of wine per month;

• Matures also are purchasing considerably more wine overall, with 10 percent buying 11 or more bottles per month, compared to 8 percent of baby boomers and just 2 to 3 percent of Gen X and echo boomers who do the same;

• Adults in the Midwest buy wine least frequently—13 percent buy four or more bottles per month compared to 24 percent of those in the South, 25 percent of those in the East and 29 percent of those in the West who purchase that amount; and,

• Adults in the West seem to buy the most amount of wine, with 10 percent reporting purchasing 11 or more bottles per month.

So what?

Most Americans purchase wine and many show an interest in broadening their horizons in terms of what kinds of wine they buy. Wine makers and marketers would do well to reach out to these consumers—many seem to buy the same bottle out of habit rather than lack of interest in trying something new. It also seems that while Americans generally spend on the lower end of the spectrum in terms of wine pricing—which may be a result of difficult economic times and less disposable income—many purchasers buy several bottles per month and return to labels that are familiar, making them very valuable consumers for wine companies to engage with.


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