10 Wine and Spirits Trends for 2020

by | Dec 5, 2019 | Wine & Spirits

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The new “roaring ’20s” are nearly upon us, and this time they will look very different than they did last century, especially for the wine and spirits industry in the United States.

When 1920 started, so did Prohibition. But as 2020 starts, the wine and spirits industry is booming more than ever. So what will the next decade hold? So far the themes appear to be classic wine, canned cocktails, and technology.

We’ve compiled your guide to the top-10 trends to look forward to in 2020 and beyond as we enter this new decade.

1. Instagram marketing

While the laws regarding Instagram advertising changed during the summer of 2019, brands are turning to influencers to help sell the lifestyle that comes with their products. This marketing tactic will continue to rise as Instagram’s user base also increases.

Social media enables potential customers to see how they’d experience the product. By pairing with influencers, brands are able to craft a voice and image.

Currently, Kim Crawford is mastering the art of Influencers with lifestyle at the center of its marketing, and influencer partnerships with the likes of Katherine Scharwenger, a published author and new wife to actor Chris Pratt.

2. Technology in the vineyards

Vineyards are using technology to cut costs, save time, and produce better wine.

Drones fly above vineyards, minding the crops and analyzing their growth. This saves winemakers time and money by not having to trek up and down every row to see how the grapes are faring.

If there’s an infection spreading quickly throughout the vineyard, drones can catch it and treat it more quickly than human laborers.

“That kind of diagnostic data can help vineyard managers single out problems instead of having to guess at them,” Bryan Soderblom, chief pilot and director of marketing at VineView told Wine Enthusiast. Essentially, the more information winemakers have about the crops, the better the wine they can make for their customers.

3. Drink menus get more interactive

Tablets disrupted more than just paperback books. They’re also eliminating the paper drink menu. Customers started to see this trend pop up at some restaurants during the past few years, but moving forward it will become the norm.

By offering the drink menu on a tablet, customers are able to interact more with the brand and understand the experience they’ll have drinking the wine. Tablet menus leave room for suggestions of what pairs nicely with the wine, notes on the vintage and more.

Tablets are good for restaurants, too, allowing them to update their menu on a more regular basis. Uncorked said they saw a 20% increase in wine sales for bottles that had photos and tasting notes on the tablets.

4. Climate Change continues to change wine

This is our most unfortunate and downright sad trend on the list. Climate change is affecting people and industries all over the world, and will continue to do so into the next decade. In the wine industry, it’s destroying crops for five years or worse — forever.

California, the main producer of wine in the U.S., is suffering as increasingly frequent wildfires ravage towns and vineyards. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that temperatures will increase between 3.6 and 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, and this is affecting how grapes that need particular environments are growing.

While a lot needs to be done to slow down climate change, vineyards can use technology to combat some of the side effects. Keeping tabs on climate data and weather reports will help your staff know if the harvest is coming early. Investing in technology such as drones can help analyze the crops better and help take steps to prevent any other causes damaging the crops.

5. Online alcohol sales will continue to increase, with the help of apps

The wine and spirits industry was late to the internet sales game because of strict laws across the country regarding shipping wine. But now that more states are morphing their laws to allow freer shipping of alcohol between states, eCommerce is growing for wine and spirits brands.

Online alcohol sales reached $1.7 billion in 2017 and a strong contingent of those sales were via an app. Online alcohol sales via phone app grew 32% in 2017. We’re expecting those numbers to continue to see exponential growth in 2020 and beyond.

Currently, Drizly dominates the app sector of the market. Think of it like drinks on demand. Customers create a profile, select what they want– a nice bottle of red, perhaps a few handles of vodka– and place the order. In 30 to 60 minutes, there’s a knock at the door and the alcohol is there. Party hosts will never run out of drinks again.

6. Will travel for wine

Seeking a particularly nice glass of wine was the inspiration for more than 600,000 trips last year, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organization. Travel for the sake of wine tasting is also known as enotourism.

Wineries and distilleries have been investing hundreds of thousands of dollars toward updating their facilities to cater to tourists looking to learn more about wine. With this trend of investing in the facilities, we expect the fancy new digs to attract the masses and continue to spike those enotourism numbers.

7. Convenience will be key

This was the year of the can for wine and spirits. Customers reached for canned cocktails and wine because they are convenient and fit with the millennial drinker’s on-the-go lifestyle.

Canned alcohol sales are expected to reach $4.6 billion by 2024. So in 2020, you’ll be seeing a lot of new cans in your local liquor store that aren’t beer.

8. Serving up low-alcohol wines

Millennial drinkers have been drinking less, but more creatively. Once New Year’s Eve has passed, customers will be looking for low-alcohol wines.

Soon customers will see Piquette on the liquor store shelves. This is a low-alcohol wine made from the second-pressing of grape pomace. The number of brands announcing their foray into Piquette is growing, their sales will likely grow as well.

There are a few reasons for this low-alcohol trend, but the biggest is this generation of drinkers being more health conscious.

9. Classic wines take center stage again

There was rosé, then orange wine, but the desire for a classic wine is back. In 2020, drinkers will be ordering wines such as a classic Bordeaux or a Cabernet from California. Expect sales from these classic regions to see a surge in 2020.

10. More states will give us more wine

As temperatures are changing across the United States, so is the ability to harvest strong wine in new places.

Oregon and Washington State are now among the dominant wine sellers in the U.S., and even more new states will be joining the winemaking process in 2020 and beyond.

A state that you’d associate more with football and cowboys than wine, like Texas, will make a name for itself in 2020 and the years to come. The state already ranks 11th in wine production in the US.Even Arizona’s wine trade is growing, with more than 100 wine producers and 1,000 acres of vineyards.

2020 will be an exciting year for wine, as we continue to watch how new trends and technology can morph the industry.

Meredith Galante

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