Why aren’t more wine brands tapping into the lucrative female “millennial” market?

It’s no surprise that women take the lead in purchasing decisions – but why has the wine industry been so slow to specifically target these savvy ladies?  For mid-priced brands and volume sellers, females and especially those in the “millennial” age group (born 1977-1992) represent a huge opportunity for the wine industry.  It’s clear that women lead the way in wine preference and purchasing in this country:

So why don’t we see more marketing towards women?  Some possible reasons:

  • Wine marketers have not updated their marketing strategies to speak to women, or do not know how to reach them
  • Wine marketers/wineries are trying to reach them in the wrong ways and using old methods
  • Wine marketing decisions tend to be made by men, although this is changing

Millennials being the fastest growing segment has been highlighted by industry experts as a major opportunity.  Social media is the key in targeting not only the millennials, but women especially.  Women skew higher on all major social networking sites and are more likely to be making purchasing decisions on wine.  So marketing needs to change.  And so do other things…

According to experts women are less influenced by wine ratings, as they tend to judge the entire product. Label design, the bottle shape and the philosophy of the winery are equally to women as important as the quality of the wine.  But several wine brands have taken note and this year Treasury Wines Estates, launched “Be” – geared to women, specifically “millennials” from 21 to 34 years old.

Chateau Ste. Michelle introduced a Facebook campaign primarily geared to women, coupled with a print campaign.  Historically the brand had advertised only in magazines for wine professionals and for the first time it more focused on women’s information sites such as Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

After huge success with her pre-made cocktails brand, Bethenny Frankel sold her brand to Beam Inc.  This year they launched three types of Skinnygirl wine.

Brands that do well with this sector are able to create an emotional connection with their customers; they understand their target market’s social media habits and how to tap into it; they are involved in conversations about wine in general, and they understand it is a two-way dialogue.  Do you have comments on how the wine industry is targeting women?  Please post them below.


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4 Comments on “Why aren’t more wine brands tapping into the lucrative female “millennial” market?”

  1. sonomaist November 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi Mindy – I think there are probably many reasons that millennial women aren’t buying into the wine experience. One reason is, wine is intimidating for anyone, not just young women, until you have had a lot of experience with it. That means a lot of drinking, and unless you have an extra liver hanging around in case of emergencies, you can get a lot more mileage on your wine odometer by tasting instead of ordering glasses or bottles. The problem with most tastings at wine shops (the typical venue) is twofold. Many aren’t licensed to serve food, and I think women, much more than men associate wine as something to be enjoyed with food rather than as a solo beverage. The other reason is, those tastings can often become dominated by middle aged male wine geeks flexing their skills which can be either extremely annoying or intimidating. Maybe girl’s night out wine tastings targeting women, but not pandering to them would be the move for wine marketers. I never needed a cute cartoon character on the bottle or a bunch of residual sugar to enjoy wine, even as a newbie. I just needed to find a place to taste and be comfortable. My two cents! Great post and thought provoking topic!

    • Mindy Joyce December 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi Sonomaist, Thanks so much for posting your comments! This is great feedback! Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. Amy Hampton March 29, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Hi Mindy! I love your article about taping into women wine drinkers! I own a wine company based in Texas and it has received great support because of the style and taste! I love the world of wine and love seeing more and more women sharing in the decision making process!


    • Mindy Joyce March 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Hi Amy! Thanks so much for your comment and for reading my blog. Glad to hear your business is going well!

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