Younger generations turn to canned wine.

Millennials and Gen Z are drinking less wine overall, but their interest in canned wine is growing. Could this niche market help the wine industry?

I recently wrote about the negative trend in wine consumption, largely due to its waning popularity among millennials and Gen Z customers. Although wine is gaining ground with those over 60, younger generations are embracing trends like tequila-based cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, the wine industry hasn’t completely lost young adults. While millennials and Gen-Zers are drinking less wine than people their age did fifteen years ago, they are gravitating to a new drinking experience: canned wine.

Canned wine’s increasing popularity.

Wine sales are expected to decline by 1.3 percent this year, spirits are more popular than ever, and only 35 percent of adults aged 21–29 who consume alcohol drink wine. But, there’s a silver lining.

Globally, the canned wine market is on track to be worth $571.8 million by 2028–a 13.2 percent annual growth rate from 2018.

While it is currently trending, this alternative to bottled wine has steadily grown in popularity throughout the past several years. Canned wine sales (by volume) grew an impressive 3,800 percent between 2017 and 2022.

Today, it’s not uncommon to see canned wine, which was once regarded as low-quality, on the menus at upscale restaurants in major cities.

Why young adults choose canned wine.

If millennials and Gen Z prefer wine less, why are they gravitating to canned versions of it?

These young consumers are known for both their purchasing power and their values, which they often merge through buying products that align with their ideals. For example, 64 percent of Gen Zers would pay more for an environmentally friendly product.

Canned wine is seen as a more sustainable option compared to its bottled counterpart–as aluminum is recycled more often than glass and might have a smaller carbon footprint in wine production.

These drinks also offer more convenience to busy young adults. Cans chill faster than a bottle of wine, are more portable, and can be single-serve. Cans are also more suited for outdoor activities, which are currently popular and linked to the rise of canned wine.

A look ahead.

The growing demand for canned wine in spite of the wine industry’s projected forecast highlights the power of young consumers in today’s economy. Through their purchases, it’s clear millennials and Gen Z aren’t rejecting wine, but they are demanding a new wine experience. They want a wine brand that fits their values and lifestyles.

Many smart players in the industry are taking notice and developing canned wines that place a premium on taste and sustainability.

By listening and catering to this new class of consumers, the canned wine market has become a commanding sector. Entrepreneurs throughout the wine industry should be encouraged by this sector’s success and regard it as a case study on how to respond to consumers’ changing preferences and habits.

Danilo Diazgranados is an independent investor in the global food and wine, financial services, real estate, and the hospitality sectors.

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