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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are You A Savvy Shopper or Satisfied Sipper?

In Katherine Cole's Oregonian column today, she interviews Mike Veseth, the Wine Economist, about his new book, Wine Wars. One of her questions involves a breakdown of the wine market by buyer interests--something I think might be highly relevant to good-beer drinkers. I'll link back to one of Veseth's blog posts from 2008 wherein he breaks down the typologies and percentages:
  • Overwhelmed (23% of consumers): Like to drink wine, but overwhelmed by sheer volume of choices on store shelves.
  • Image Seekers (20% of consumers): Are just discovering wine and view it as a status symbol.
  • Traditionalists (16% of consumers): Enjoy wine from established wineries and think wine makes an occasion more formal.
  • Savvy Shoppers (16% of consumers): Shop in a variety of stores each week to find best deals and enjoy shopping for wine and discovering new varietals on their own.
  • Satisfied Sippers (14% of consumers): Don’t know much about wine, just know what they like to drink and typically buy the same brand.
  • Wine Enthusiasts (12% of consumers): Entertain at home with friends, and consider themselves knowledgeable about wine.
Broadly speaking, I suspect good beer's clientele fall into the same categories. What's interesting is that the largest group, the overwhelmed, buy the least amount of wine, while wine enthusiasts and image-seekers buy the most. The goal, obviously, is to flip the overwhelmed, with all their potential purchasing power, into enthusiasts. (The "image seeker" category has an unnecessarily derogatory title. In the beer world, I'd call these "craft newbies" or something like that.)

Folks like Brady Walen, now off to his new job as Marketing Communication Manager at Craft Brewers Alliance, are no doubt keenly aware of trying to appeal to all the different segments of the potential market. It's good for the "enthusiast" (aka "beer geek") to recognize that breweries aren't just selling to them but broadcasting on several channels when they sell their beer. Anyway, good stuff.

1 comment:

  1. With wine, I find myself in the category of very Overwhelmed--there are so many varieties, regions, and vintages, not to mention of all varying price ranges, available in my grocery store that I mostly have no clue where to start. Whereas if I'm going there for beer, I have a choice between 10-15 breweries, with very limited styles, and prices rarely going over $14 for a 6-pack.

    I also feel as though there is very little centralization on wine literature and information. Beer is still small to the point that there are are a limited amount of modern publications, many of which are good. I have tried so hard to fine a wine-equivalent to Tasting Beer have been unable.