Hispanics are projected to be the fastest growing ethnic minority in the U.S. over the next 20 years, but so far they under-index on wine consumption. According to a new report by Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory group, if the wine industry were able to bring Hispanic wine consumption up to the level of the broader US population, annual wine consumption among Hispanics would increase by nearly 50 million cases over the next 20 years. That would put annual wine consumption by U.S. Hispanics at nearly 95 million cases, says the firm.
The report, "Marketing Wine to U.S. Hispanics: The 50 Million Case Growth Opportunity," says that reaching the U.S. Hispanic market also has implications for international growth markets, such as Mexico.
The report advises wineries about ways to engage Hispanic consumers, but there’s plenty of ways on-premise operators can make the connection without fear of changing wine quality. Not only Spain and Portugal, but increasingly South American wineries are producing world-class wines in an apparently endless array of varietals at good prices. Hispanic buying patterns are extremely diverse, but wines with a language or heritage connection could go a long way towards establishing a safe haven for Hispanics new to wine and unfamiliar with wine labels. That’s always been an issue for English-speaking Americans new to wine, one of the reasons most novice wine drinkers favor American-produced wines, as the terms and regions are easier to grasp.
The report concludes that if the wine industry fails to engage the Hispanic population, it risks losing this fast growing segment of the U.S. population to the beer industry.