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Wine consumption in OZ holding up but spend is down

Published:  23 April, 2020

Wine consumption in Australia has been holding up during lockdown, but spend per bottle is down, according to new Wine Intelligence Covid-19 research.

The research indicates a trend that, post initial lockdown consumption spikes, is likely to be echoed in other mature wine markets as consumers adjust to economic uncertainty.

As social distancing rules and then lockdown was put into effect by the Australian government, the research suggests that Australians are replacing their old social drinking occasions with regular online interactions with friends and wine occasions with those in their household. 

The research, of which a snapshot was released today with the full report available tomorrow, also suggests that Australian wine consumers are torn between “maintaining normal behaviour patterns and acknowledging the major changes to lifestyles and economic prospects”.

“On one level, it seems to be a case of ‘keep calm and carry on’: wine drinking is holding up, with old social occasions in pubs, restaurants and other people’s houses replaced by more intimate family events or online socialising,” said Wine Intelligence

It also reveals that those in Gen X (aged 40-54) increased their frequency of wine drinking during the lockdown period with those in Gen Z, the youngest cohort, reducing their frequency of wine drinking the most.  

The research is based on a survey of 1,000 Australian monthly wine drinkers and was conducted during the last week of March and the first week of April.

Survey questions probed how people were interacting with wine, but also around broader attitudes – to other alcoholic beverages, to social and travel activities after lockdown, and to financial and lifestyle priorities.

At the beginning of this week, Australian Grape and Wine - Australia’s national association of wine grape and wine producers, predicted a third of Australian wineries could go under as a result of Covid-19.