Research Outline

Mid and High-End Wine Buyers


To determine how to market to mid and high-end wine buyers in the US, it is important to understand the demographic and psychographic profile of the top 3 audiences of these wines in the US. What is needed specifically is their age, gender, income, and information on where they live (demographic profile), as well as information on their interests, hobbies, what they read, where they go on vacation, what social media platforms they use, where they spend time on the Internet (psychographic profile).

Early Findings

Portraits from Wine Intelligence

  • The organization Wine Intelligence has made a portrait of the six different types of wine buyers in the US.
  • Wine Intelligence classifies 10% of wine consumers as "Engaged Explorers". This group is part of a younger population of wine buyers who spend money frequently on wine and buy high-priced wine the most. They explore different wine styles from different countries and regions.
  • The "Contented Treaters" are mid and older aged affluent individuals who are high spenders on wine. They enjoy a broad range of wine types and styles.
  • The "Social Newbies" are the youngest wine drinking segment. They are mid-spenders on wine and have not fully integrated wine into their lifestyle.
  • Other categories identified are the "Premium Brand Suburbans", the "Senior Bargain Hunters", and the "Kitchen Casuals"

State of the Wine Industry

  • This report gives some demographic information on (premium) wine buyers.
  • Gen X is expected to surpass baby boomers in 2022 and become the largest consumer of fine wine. By 2027 millennials are expected to surpass Gen Xers and become the largest group consuming fine wines.
  • The majority of the growth in the wine category above $9 is due to Gen X.
  • The definition of "premium wine" is wine above $10 per bottle.
  • The greatest consumers of premium wine currently are baby boomers, especially those in the age group of 58-61 years who contribute to more than 12% of premium wine sales. After this age group those aged 54-57 years follow (just under 12%) and those in the age group 62-65 years. They could be considered the top audiences currently of premium wines.

Summary of Findings

  • During the initial hour of research, the focus was on finding the top three audiences for mid and high-end wine.
  • There are reports with readily available profiles on wine buyers in the US and above a brief description of these profiles were mentioned. Unfortunately, this report was behind a paywall and more specific information could not be found.
  • Premium wines are defined as wines costing more that $10 a bottle and currently baby boomers are the largest group to consume premium wines, a trend which is expected to change in 2022 when Gen X is expected to dominate the sales. However, as can be seen from the Wine Intelligence profiles, younger audiences are also frequent spenders on high-priced wines.