Earlier this year, Uncorked published a report that’s a must-read for bars, restaurants, wine distributors and the like.
It’s a report about how America drinks, or at least their drinking preferences. It’s critical to understand your target market and trends, so I’ve pulled out some of the most valuable facts for you.
Men Drink Beer, Women Drink Wine
According to this survey, the majority drink of choice for women is wine. 43% of women prefer wine over beer and spirits when dining out. For men, 49% – almost half of men surveyed – prefer beer when dining out.
What you Drink is Regional
Generally, the trend appears that coastal regions prefer wine, the great lakes area prefers spirits, and everyone else prefers beer. Of course, that’s a slight generalization. Here’s the map:
What influences the drink of choice in these regions? One factor may be the prevalence of the specific drink. For example, it appears that areas which prefer wine are areas of greater wine production. The West Coast includes heavy wine production in California (Napa Valley, Sonoma) as well as in Washington and Oregon. New York has the next greatest number of wineries followed soon by Texas (think Texas Hill Country).
Preferences Change with Age
This doesn’t come as a surprise since people’s preferences tend to change over time. According to this survey, the greater the age, the less likely a person would prefer beer when dining out: Only 20% of 61+ year olds prefer beer compared to nearly 50% of 21-30 year olds.
The opposite goes for wine; as age increases, the preference for wine increases. 26% of youngin’s (21-30) prefer wine, and that percentage steadily increases with age to 50% of responders aged 61+.
It seems like we all enjoy spirits the same, with a fairly consistent 30% (give or take a few percent) preferring spirits across all ages.
Most Important Factor when Purchasing: Uncertainty
When deciding what to purchase, a few major factors come into play including brand, price, and style of drink. But what’s the most important factor? Uncertainty – at least for wine.
21% of people surveyed ages 21-30 reported feeling intimidated when picking a wine. One respondent is quoted saying “I don’t want to order/spend money on something when I don’t know how it tastes.” The uncertainty prevents guests from buying or spending more for higher-priced wines.
Some ideas on how to overcome this hurdle are to provide pairing suggestions, offer samples, and provide more descriptions in your wine lists.
Full Study on American Drinking Preferences
If you’re interested in the full study, you can read it here. Now that you’re armed with some consumer data, go forth and give your customers what they’re looking for!
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