Accusations that the wine industry’s future is under threat because of its failure to recruit younger drinkers have been dismissed as scaremongering by the Global Association for Producers of Wine (GAPOW).
‘It’s true that fewer young people are interested in wine than 20 years ago,’ said GAPOW’s president, Paco Lies, ‘but this doesn’t matter at all because there seems to be a never-ending pool of older people who are quite happy to hoover up any old crap that we put in a bottle.
‘At least, they will provided it’s nice and cheap.’
Not lost at all
GAPOW says that its research proves that concerns over a ‘lost generation’ are overblown.
‘Younger drinkers will inevitably learn to love wine as they get older without any effort on our part,’ he said. ‘Even the ones who don’t drink alcohol are bound to be unable to resist the appeal of a nice bottle of 15% Puglian red once they hit the age of 30.’
According to Lies, being unfashionable was no barrier to trial later in life.
‘Just look at port and sherry,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘That stuff was really uncool when I was in my 20s, whereas now those bottles are positively flying off the shelves all over the world.’
The statins don’t lie
Recent research by the analyst firm Dataminotaur showed that over 75% of the world’s wine is now consumed by people who think that a night in with Ted Lasso constitutes ‘socialising’ and can’t stand up without making involuntary grunting sounds.
By contrast, the majority of drinkers under 30 saw wine as ‘boring’, ‘expensive’, ‘confusing’ and ‘too heavy to sneak into a club in your handbag’.
‘Looking at these figures, it’s quite obvious where we as an industry should be concentrating our efforts,’ said Lies, ‘and that’s on people who look and act just like us.
‘Make no mistake, old people are the future.’
Importance of image
However, wine marketing guru Ad Spend said the situation was more nuanced than that.
‘There’s nothing wrong with encouraging wealthy Boomers so spend their pension pot on Chilean Pinot Grigio,’ he said, ‘but the last thing you want to do is market anything to them directly.
‘We need to maintain the fiction that wine is a glamorous lifestyle product, enjoyed by photogenic couples with perfect teeth, not swigged back by people in their 60s to help them get to sleep when their arthritis is playing up.’
However, Instagram-fluencer @wine4days said that the industry ignored younger drinkers at their peril.
‘They need to do more to entice people like me and my followers and produce products that are relevant to Gen-Z,’ she told Fake Booze.
‘All we want is drinks that are organic, low intervention, carbon-neutral, sparkling, authentic, healthy, cool and cheap.
‘Is that too much to ask?’
Click here to read why wine really is screwed this time honest.