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Short View on Future in Wine

For the Slovak magazine “Inbar & Restaurant” I was asked for an assessment of the situation in the wine industry for 2021. I think this could also be interesting for you. I will also prepare a longer article on this topic for my blogpad. But first, here are the answers to the three short questions. 

What do you expect, how will be the year 2021 in terms of world wine sales, considering ongoing pandemic situation?

I think we will see a mixed year in 2021 in terms of wine sales. If the vaccinations start to have an impact globally in the second half of the year, and we become even better in managing the virus, we will begin to return to the patterns we saw before the pandemic. In the long term, this means a trend towards less wine consumption in the European markets, but more diverse consumption. Out-of-home consumption will increase significantly once the lockdowns end. However, online business will also continue to grow in the long term – through new business models and the strong influence of word-of-mouth in social media.

Do you think that customer’s behavior will change distinctly because of the pandemic?

We will experience both – a return to established patterns but at the same time a reorientation. On the one hand, people can’t wait to socialize, go to restaurants, travel and to party again. On the other hand, health, sustainability and safety will be much more paramount to us. This will also have a direct impact on how we consume. Of course, we can’t ignore the economic outlook. Unemployment, higher taxes and worries about the future will unfortunately shape the consumption behavior of those who are among the losers of the pandemic.

What trends in wine drinking do you expect in 2021?

People will probably be more willing to experiment again. Recommendations from friends, influencers, and sommeliers, especially in out-of-home consumption, will encourage this. At the same time, we will see a trend toward more sustainable consumption in the context of a new mindfulness. Health will remain a key priority. Low-sulfur wines and transparent labeling will become even more important. In addition, the trend toward alternative packaging will continue to gain ground among younger target groups. They want to enjoy wine unconventionally with friends in many places. For example, with wine in cans and wine boxes.