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Wine Intelligence updates Global Report post-virus

Published:  30 March, 2020

Wine Intelligence has updated its Global Report post-coronavirus (Covid-19), first launched in January, to highlight both the short and long-term effects the pandemic is likely to have on wine consumption. 

On a positive note, the updated report says, the dramatic shift to online wine shopping could reverse the reported decline in depth of wine knowledge, with the need to define search terms, as well as the availability of time to explore reviews and commentary, likely to lift consumer engagement.

Wine drinking in the on-trade had been on the rise in 2019. However, even once the current restrictions on mobility are lifted, the likelihood of a post-pandemic global recession suggests that a switch to at-home drinking could be both a medium- and long-term trend, Wine Intelligence noted.

The predicted recession is also likely to halt, if not reverse, the growing trend towards premiumisation in the wine market, the report suggests, with value-for-money becoming paramount among consumer concerns.

“Back in January – only eight weeks ago, but already seeming like another era – we reported that the key themes in global trends in wine for 2020 revolved around ‘The Four Rs’: Relationship, Retail, Repertoire and Responsibility," said Lulie Halstead, chief executive of Wine Intelligence.

“In our new environment, we believe these mega trends are as valid as they were in the pre-coronavirus world. However, the way in which these trends present themselves in the current context, and the path of their evolution through the remainder of this year and beyond, has undoubtedly changed."

Wine Intelligence is also predicting that consumers will move towards drinking more domestic and local wines in wine-producing countries, as national populations become more inward-looking and protective, post-virus.

It also pointed to the possibility that the trend towards alternative and sustainable methods of wine production may not survive the crisis, as increasingly price-conscious consumers move towards fundamental choices and away from merely desirable ones.

It is also possible, however, that the society-wide focus on collective responsibility drives further awareness and support for environmentally positive products and initiatives, the report said.