Wine consumption patterns relatively stable under COVID

Wine glasses

Wine consumers have reported that their consumption hasn’t changed much despite the stresses of lockdown. The results from a survey by a team of experts led by the University of Adelaide show patterns of wine consumption that also indicate a trend towards buying wine direct from producers.

The University of Adelaide’s Dr Armando Corsi who is Associate Professor of Wine Business at the Adelaide Business School led the study.

“Our study was part of the second wave of data collected as part of an 11-country project,” said Associate Professor Corsi.

“The top three reasons why people consume wine are still associated with positive concepts such as enjoying the taste, going well with food, and that it helps them to relax.

The team, which included experts from the University of South Australia, collected data in November 2020 and compared it to results from the same survey conducted in May 2020. Both surveys were answered by 274 – split equally between men and women – Australian wine enthusiasts, fully representative in gender, age and wine consumption of the wine consuming population.

“In the first months of the pandemic crisis there has been a proliferation of studies aimed at understanding the impact of lockdown intervention measures on consumer habits towards wine,” said Associate Professor Corsi.

“The top three reasons why people consume wine are still associated with positive concepts such as enjoying the taste, going well with food, and that it helps them to relax.”Associate Professor Armando Corsi

“Whilst the pandemic has unfortunately continued to impact people’s lives, many researchers have not followed through with their initial investigation, making it hard to understand the actual impact of the pandemic on changing people’s attitudes and behaviour.

“People obviously switched the places where they purchased wine, because they couldn’t go out for a meal, but overall consumption levels don’t seem to have been affected much.”

The survey showed that there was an increase in people buying online or direct from producers.

“Although this has been highlighted in the trade, it means wineries and online retailers should consider investing in improving their online presence and practices to take advantage of this apparent trend,” said Associate Professor Corsi.

“Wine producers need to find new customers or reach out to customers who haven’t bought from them in a long time rather than trying to keep knocking at the door of those who bought from you recently.”

The study showed a small effect of the COVID lockdown on patterns of consumption.

“In the November results positive concepts were again the top reasons for enjoying wine, but we noticed an increase in the percentage of people who indicated that they drank wine because they were bored or as a distraction from the problems,” said Associate Professor Corsi.

“Whilst these negative motivations are not even in the top five reasons why people consume wine, we need to monitor this trend and make sure that people continue to enjoy wine responsibly.”

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