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New Study Reveals How and Why Consumer Drinking Habits Have Changed Since the Covid-19 Pandemic 

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New York – May 29, 2024 Oomiji, a leading customer insights and marketing platform, has released a comprehensive survey revealing significant shifts in consumer drinking habits over the past four years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey, which gathered responses from over 600 individuals via  LinkedIn, highlights how health concerns and lifestyle changes have dramatically influenced alcohol consumption patterns across different consumer cohorts. The survey analysis differentiates between  consumers drinking less, more or the same amount as they did four years ago. (The full survey can be downloaded here.) 

The most dramatic finding in the survey is the significant impact of health and wellness concerns on changing drinking habits across all age groups. The heightened awareness of both physical and emotional health due to the Covid-19 pandemic has led a substantial number of consumers to reassess and modify their alcohol consumption. This shift is particularly evident among Gen Z and Millennials, who are moving towards moderate drinking or opting for non-alcoholic beverages as part of their commitment to healthier  lifestyles. This pervasive trend underscores a broader societal shift towards health-conscious behavior that has profoundly affected consumer preferences and habits. 

“The wine industry talks about wine quality, food pairing and sociability to attract drinkers and while these do influence older consumers, they fall short with Gen Z and Millennials,” said Jon Stamell, CEO of Oomiji. “Wine marketers talk about the needs and interests of ‘wine consumers’ but in reality, there is no such thing as a wine consumer. The survey shows that people drink wine for reasons that have to do with their lifestyle, lifestage and particular interests and that’s what wineries need to pay attention to.” 

In addition to health and wellness concerns impacting all consumers, key findings of the survey include: 

Cohort-Specific Trends

  • Gen Z & Millennials: These younger cohorts show a marked preference for spirits,  cocktails, and beer over wine, with a significant number drinking less due to health  concerns. However, those increasing their intake often cite socialization and enjoyment with  friends as primary reasons. 
  • Gen X: This group shows a balanced split, with a notable percentage drinking less for  health reasons. However, increased responsibilities from home ownership, parenting and  work have created a growing interest in wine as a sophisticated choice and are driving  some to increase their wine purchases. 
  • Baby Boomers: Aging and health maintenance are key factors for those drinking less.  Conversely, Boomers who drink more see wine as an integral part of enjoying life, especially as they spend more time at home and travel.
  • Gender Differences: Men and women display distinct patterns in their drinking habits, influenced by emotional, physical health, and lifestyle considerations. Women, in particular, cited socialization and entertaining as significant factors for their drinking patterns while men focus on lifestyle and socialization aspects when choosing to drink more. 
  • Consumer Preferences: Most respondents prefer wines priced at $25 or under, with taste, food compatibility, and price being the top decision factors. Price sensitivity is more pronounced among younger respondents, while older consumers show a willingness to spend more on premium options. Social media, often used by wineries for marketing plays a minimal role in influencing their choices. 

Implications for the Wine Industry: The findings underscore the need for the wine industry to tailor its messaging and marketing strategies to address the specific concerns and motivations of different consumer segments. Messaging that resonates with the health-conscious mindset of younger consumers and promotes the enjoyment and sophistication of wine for older cohorts can help sustain and grow market  share. By recognizing the diverse reasons behind wine consumption, brands can better engage with their audience and meet their evolving needs. 

Survey Methodology: The study was conducted from February 1 to April 15, 2024, and included responses from 602 participants sourced from LinkedIn. The survey comprised 11 questions focusing on changes in drinking frequency and the reasons behind these changes. The data was analyzed using Oomiji’s AI platform, which provided valuable insights into the behavior of various consumer segments. 

Conclusion: Stamell said, “Even though the pandemic has wound down, its after-effects are still with us and have had a profound impact on how we make lifestyle decisions. This study highlights the significant shifts in consumer behavior and the importance of understanding the nuanced reasons behind these changes.” As the wine industry navigates the post-pandemic landscape, these insights will be crucial in  developing effective segmentation and targeted communication strategies. 

For more information about the study, please contact Jon Stamell (jon@oomiji.com). To download the full study, please click here

About Oomiji

Oomiji is a customer insights platform that leverages advanced AI and segmentation tools to deliver  personalized marketing at scale. By understanding the ‘why’ behind consumer behaviors, Oomiji helps  brands build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their customers.

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