Wine Vision and the Future of Wine: Will Less Turn Out to Be More?

What is the future of the wine industry? Less or more? Or less and more?

I’m thinking about this question because Wine Vision 2014 is on the horizon (the conference is in London on November 17-19) and the agenda is all about the future of the wine business.

Affluence vs Sobriety?

Barry Clark of the Future Foundation, is set to talk about “The Future of Wine: Impacts of affluence versus the drive to sobriety” and the preliminary program makes it sound like he sees the global glass as at least half full, but with significant changes and challenges ahead.

The “drive to sobriety” suggests less wine, but there are other factors to consider, creating a complex blend. If the future of wine is that there will be less of it, because of anti-alcohol influences, but with an affluenza-driven upmarket movement, what are the implications? Can less be more or maybe better? Who will wine and lose?

What Do You Think About the Future of Wine?

I’ll paste the description of Clark’s talk below — read it over and see what you think? I’m curious about his Big Data point — will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

What do you see as the most important trends in wine’s future? I’m interested to see what readers say about future trends in the Comments section below. Cheers!

As a consumer product wine enjoys advantages that no other alcoholic drink can rival – multiple price points, an equal appeal to both genders, flavours to suit every palate and a sufficiently wide product range to cater for any social occasion. A fast-growing global middle-class and rising incomes offer the chance for significant growth and a desire for greater sophistication.

However the industry faces significant head-winds and the forecast is for increasingly inclement conditions. Few governments are unconcerned by the effects of alcohol consumption and ageing populations add urgency to the issue. Partly prompted by government, consumers are moderating their own behaviour and embracing sobriety in many different areas of their lives.

Barry  Clark, formerly of the Whitbread Beer Company and now a consultant to over 200 clients, considers the possible problems and potential opportunities for the international wine trade. His presentation will cover:
• Occasional preference – how wine drinking occasions are changing
• Big data, big impact – how the coming revolution in consumer data will change attitudes and habits
• Conscious of cost – how governments will act to curb consumption through price

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3 responses

  1. But how this claim “Partly prompted by government, consumers are moderating their own behaviour and embracing sobriety in many different areas of their lives.” is substantiated? Is there any research which supports that? My personal experience doesn’t support it…
    The Big Data has an impact of everything, but any data is just the data – the question is how do you spin it to support your claims 🙂
    I would be curious to read your notes after the conference.

  2. Sounds like it will be an interesting talk! I think the point he’ll bring up about how there are changes happening to wine drinking occasions should be really informative as it is a topic I often find myself/others debating.

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