Women catch up with men in wine drinking

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Major shifts in the wine industry over the past 12 years include gender equity in terms of wine drinkers, according to Lulie Halstead, co-founder and CEO of Wine Intelligence.

In most established markets about 50% of the wine drinking population now consist of women, she said. In 2010 two thirds of wine drinkers were men compared to 50% now. That is why wine should not be regarded as a gender focused product category, in her view.

Another shift is that wine drinkers as a population are increasingly getting older. The average age of a wine drinker is now over 50. In Germany 18% of regular wine drinkers are now older than 65 and in the US 40% are older than 55.

"The role of wine is pretty much universal. When we talk to consumers all over the world they say they see wine as a reward or a little treat – something they do to relax," she explained.

At the same time, in most countries, there is an expanding pool of wine drinkers and the number of moderation drinkers is increasing. Halstead calls this the "less but better" trend.

Globally, over the past 12 years, there has been a shift from mainstream varietals and an increase in preference for more niche and more local varietals unique to certain areas.

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