How Some Wine Brands Are Connecting With Generation X

Wednesday, 6 March, 2019
Forbes, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen
A lot of digital ink has been spilled of late over the fate of the wine industry. Baby boomers are aging out of wine consumption and millennials are not embracing wine in the numbers that had been expected.

 Many articles have been written decrying the wine industry’s inability to capture millennials just as the industry’s primary market, the baby boomers, are set to decrease their wine purchases. Among all the noise we have noticed a failure to mention Generation X. This generation, currently aged 38 to 53, sits smack dab in the middle of baby boomers and millennials, and it seemed that no one was thinking of Gen X at all.

After reading several articles that skewered the wine industry for failing to “get” millennials and then offered advice to connect with them, we began asking what had happened to Generation X. Was anyone in the industry considering them? Although there has been a lack of media mentions, it turns out that some areas of the wine industry have been studying Generation X and gearing marketing efforts towards it all along.

One of the most important indicators of the health of the wine industry is Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the Wine Industry Report 2019, authored by Rob McMillan, Executive Vice President and founder of SVB’s wine division. According to McMillan, three simple takeaways regarding the generations are as follows:

“Retiring baby boomers seem to have a long tail and fortunately aren’t quick to run to the pasture. They continue to buy wine at all price points, but their buying seems to be moderating both on price and volume as they age. The median boomer hits retirement age in four years.”

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