Project Genome Identifies Wine Drinker Segments

As wine sales continue to increase in the U.S., knowing how and why consumers pick the varietals, brands and price points they do is an important component for retailers and restaurateurs alike.

Now, the latest wave of information from the ten year Constellation Brands study called Project Genome - The Evolution of the Wine Consumer - tries to outline the motivations and behaviors of six segments of today’s wine consumers.

The Wine Genome Project By Constellation Brands

In the latest phase of one of these consumer studies, Constellation has updated the six distinct segments that highlight differentiating characteristics of the wine consumer today. In addition to the Overwhelmed, the Image Seekers and the Enthusiasts the study previously established, three new segments of wine drinkers have been identified based on purchase behavior, preferences, and taste profiles: the Engaged Newcomers, the Everyday Loyals and the Price Driven consumers. Comprising more than half of the wine drinking public in the U. S. and Canada, these groups will have a significant influence on the future direction of the industry, according to Dale Stratton, Constellation’s vice president of strategic insights.

For instance, the Image Seekers make up 18 percent of consumers but 26 percent of profits from wine sales and pay almost as much on average as the Enthusiasts, clearly an important consumer segment for any wine seller. As might be expected, they feel that how others perceive them is important, they want to live a life that impresses others, and want to make sure the wine they choose says the right thing about them.

Among the new profiles, Everyday Loyals make up 20 percent of wine consumers and account for 22 percent of profits, making them the second most important consumer segment. To them, wine drinking is part of their regular routine, and they are especially brand loyal.

Engaged Newcomers are more important in Canada than the U.S., but their enthusiasm holds great promise for wine sellers. Their views are that while young and new to an intimidating category, wine is a big part of the socializing they do and they’re interested in learning more about wine.

While the original study helped change the way the industry understands and talks about wine consumers in the premium segment, this broader update also provides in-depth knowledge of the value and luxury consumer, covering all price points.

The study included more than 100 questions asked to 4,000 U.S. consumers and 2,946 Canadian consumers who purchase and consume wine at least once every three months. Interviews were conducted in the U.S., English-speaking Canada and Quebec.

“As one of the largest consumer research projects ever conducted by the wine industry, Project Genome provides industry-leading research to improve the overall buying experience for today’s increasingly savvy wine drinkers,” Stratton said. “By understanding the six distinct types of wine drinkers we identified in this study, we help our retailers and distributors more effectively reach consumers, build education programs and help wine drinkers by providing recommendations and developing products that meet their preferences, palates and price point.”

For an overview of Project Genome, please click HERE

For an overview on the six consumer segments, please click HERE

Suggested Articles

More than ever, we need Congress to help our independent restaurants which are proven to be a foundation of the U.S. economy.

The list has extended to several states and even more counties as COVID-19 cases rise.

The latest data shows U.S. jobless claims at 1.5 million, a small decrease from the previous week.