Red, white, sparkling, blends, international and home-grown Aussie varieties – whatever your taste in wine there’s no doubt it’s an evolving market. In the 80’s chardonnay was all the rage, the late 90’s saw the rise of big bold reds, and lighter styles have held some dominance in later years.
But there is one definitive constant in the world of wine – consumers will continue to enjoy it and trends will continue to evolve and change. So where’s the future headed? Here are the top 5 wine industry trends for 2018.
#1 – Artisan Wines Are On The Rise
One of the most significant trends influencing the global alcoholic drinks market in recent times has been what’s called ‘premiumisation’. Premiumisation occurs where customers are willing to pay more for a product of a better quality, which sparks competition to produce higher quality items with more ‘average’ pricing that rises over time.
In terms of wine, it doesn’t necessarily refer to an expensive product – it’s less about the price and more about the aspirations the brand stands for and the values it represents to the consumers who want to drink it. Hence, wine drinkers are increasingly looking for products with genuine ‘stories’ based on their history and place of origin, and the more artisan qualities the better. And it’s also why Australia’s wine market has been increasingly engaging with consumers who are keen to explore unique and interesting products.
A number of industry surveys have also backed this trend – there is already an increase in consumers requesting personalised visitor experiences around cellar doors, and according to wine industry statistics, smaller winemakers in particular are reporting strong growth across all sales channels.
#2 – Organic Wines Are Becoming More Popular
Some winegrowers have undergone massive changes in terms of changing their production processes in order to win the right to have their products labelled as ‘organic’, and this is due in part to the success of organic food labelling. Organic wines produced for the Australian wine market are those that use grapes that have had no contact with pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilisers, and they often have minimal preservatives or none at all.
This global consumer trend in the sector is partly due to the ‘wellness’ trend, and it manifests itself in consumers not only drinking organic wines and wines with a lower alcohol content, but where consumers purchase premium wines and indulge in much smaller quantities.
#3 – Old Favourites Are Making A Comeback
Another one of the wine industry trends that’s worth keeping an eye on is the comeback of a few old favourites. Chardonnay used to be a hit back in the 90’s but went somewhat out of fashion as subtler wines took over. However, winemakers are now beginning to understand what consumers want and are continuing to ‘play around’ with certain chardonnay styles. The result? Modern chardonnays are elegant, ‘fresher’ and much more complex.
Once the wine of choice for picnics and Sunday afternoon BBQ’s, rosé is also making a comeback. Made from red grapes that are picked earlier than usual, bolder rosés with their ample refreshment factor are slowly capturing the palettes of wine connoisseurs around Australia and appearing on more and more ‘fine dining’ tables.
And experimental winemakers have always been looking for ways to increase complex flavours, and the blending of unusual varieties seems to be increasing in popularity as well. Shiraz mixed with Sav Blanc? Or a Cab Sav blended with a Pinot Noir? It’s happening!
#4 – The Digital World Is Impacting Wine Sales
It’s no surprise that a global consumer trend is the increasingly important role of the digital world in terms of the retail environment. Australia Post estimates that total e-commerce spending grew by over 19 percent in 2017, with lower prices, convenience and access to a wider range of products cited as the main influencers. Combined with the growth of online wine sales in Australia (from six percent in 2011 to an estimated 13 percent in 2018), it’s predicted that eight out of ten purchase decisions will involve the Internet in some way within the next two years.
One of the downsides of current online shopping is that it doesn’t offer a ‘try before you buy’ experience, however, with the advances in augmented reality technology, customers will now also be able to engage with products almost as if they were in a retail environment. One of the wine trends of 2018 in this augmented reality space centres around the creation of ‘talking labels’. Feeding into the ‘story-telling’ trend this will offer genuine accounts of wineries and their offerings, and create a truly unique experience for online shoppers.
#5 – Alternative Packaging Is In
One of the wine industry trends set to create a bit of a buzz in 2018 is how some wines are being packaged, and wine-in-a-can is certainly creating a stir! The biggest barrier to packaging wine in a can in the past was how to stop the liquid from corroding the metal and therefore maintaining a suitable shelf life. However, winemakers seem to have cracked it, and it is slowly being introduced to the market, so keep your eyes peeled!
And another option that’s been introduced in a number of establishments around the country is wine-on-tap. Once exclusively reserved for ciders and beers, wines are now being purchased by some businesses in 30-litre kegs, which not only saves the hassle of having to store glass bottles, it’s also kinder to environment. Say goodbye to corks, labels, screw caps and bottles!
Ready to sample our impressive wine list? Book a table at Moda Restaurant today!