Marlborough on-point to win younger wine buffs

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 09:42 05/08/2014

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Wineries, including those in Marlborough, might need to change marketing tactics as the influence of baby boomers declines, a report says.

The latest Rabobank Wine Quarterly Report, which summed up the outlook for global and regional markets for the third quarter of 2014, observed that the identity of the "wine drinker" was changing. The report said there was a challenge for wineries to adapt to an "evolving customer landscape in a timely fashion".

"In terms of demographic, the influence of the baby boomer generation - traditionally the biggest consumer group in the wine sector - is gradually giving way to the millennial generation.

"The rise of the new generation of wine drinkers has presented many wine companies with the dilemma of either sticking to a tried and tested formula for the mainstay consumers of the past, or altering their approach to suit impressionable consumers of the future."

Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said wine companies in the region were responding well to younger drinkers and rethinking their marketing strategies to target the new consumers. Many wineries now had free wifi at cellar doors, and the companies had a greater presence on social media, including sites such as Twitter, Pickens said.

"But distribution will underpin all of that.

"We have all the tools but it's now about how we use them in the market."

Saint Clair Family Estate marketing manager Julie Ibbotson said the firm had identified a new generation of wine drinkers and was working on building relationships through social media. It was also producing lower alcohol, lower calorie wines to reach their new consumer market.

The report summed up New Zealand's wine industry and how it stacked up against other major wine regions throughout the world.

New Zealand's estimated total grape tonnage this year was a record 445,000, with Marlborough contributing 329,572 tonnes.

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- The Marlborough Express

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