Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

More wine drinkers in British Columbia are enjoying local varietals than ever before and the age demographics of those wine drinkers are changing, according to a new online survey.

The 2017 Winery Brand Reputation Insights Monitor is a survey conducted by Insights West in partnership with Will Creative.

The survey found that half of wine drinkers in B.C. say their preferred wine is produced in the province, and two-in-five say they are drinking more local varietals than they were five years ago.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, half of wine drinkers (50 per cent) say their preferred wine comes from B.C., including 55 per cent of men, 58 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 63 per cent of those who reside in the B.C. Interior.

The province’s wine drinkers report that more than half of the wine they typically consume (58 per cent) is produced in the province. The highest proportion of local wine consumption is observed among men (59 per cent) and those aged 35 to 54 (62 per cent).

In addition, two-in-five B.C. wine drinkers (41 per cent) say they are drinking a higher percentage of B.C. wine now than they were five years ago, while only 7 per cent report drinking less B.C. wine than they previously did.

“Millennials are definitely starting to discover BC wine,” said Ute Preusse, founder of Will Creative Inc. “More than half of wine drinkers aged 19 to 34 say they are consuming more wine from the province than they did five years ago.”

BC’s wine drinkers express a preference for red wine (36 per cent) ahead of white varietals (26 per cent), although one-in-five (20 per cent) say they like red and white wine equally.

“Red is definitely the preferred choice for BC’s wine drinkers aged 35 to 54 and 55 and over,” says Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs at Insights West. “Rosé and sparkling wines are more popular among those aged 19 to 34.”

When it comes to brand recognition, B.C. wine drinkers easily recognize some of the Okanagan’s biggest wineries, with 95 per cent of respondents recognizing the Mission Hill brand.

Results are based on an online study conducted from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, 2017 among 613 adult residents of British Columbia who drink wine at least a few times a year.

The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

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