Market Segmentations

The wine industry has typically been segmented by the different lifestyles of the consumers. Knowing the target consumer group helps producers focus on either packaging, marketing, or true quality of wine. Baueraus Design elaborates on the six different wine consumers and their needs. This diversification is crucial for wineries seeking to increase their competitive edge in the global market because it informs business strategy.

The 6 Types of Wine Consumers

Overwhelmed (23% of consumers):

  • Overwhelmed by sheer volume of choices on store shelves
  • Like to drink wine, but don’t know what kind to buy and may select by label
  • Looking for wine information in retail settings that’s easy to understand
  • Very open to advice, but frustrated when there is no one in the wine section to help
  • If information is confusing, they won’t buy anything at all.

Image Seekers (20% of consumers):

  • View wine as a status symbol
  • Are just discovering wine and have a basic knowledge of it
  • Like to be the first to try a new wine, and are open to innovative packaging
  • Prefer Merlot as their No. 1 most-purchased variety; despite “Sideways,” Pinot Noir is not high on their list
  • Use the Internet as key information source, including checking restaurant wine lists before they dine out so they can research scores
  • Millennials and males often fall into this category.

Traditionalists (16% of consumers):

  • Enjoy wines from established wineries
  • Think wine makes an occasion more formal, and prefer entertaining friends and family at home to going out
  • Like to be offered a wide variety of well known national brands
  • Won’t often try new wine brands
  • Shop at retail locations that make it easy to find favorite brands.

The Savy Shoppers (16% of consumers):

  • Enjoy shopping for wine and discovering new varietal s on their own
  • Have a few favorite wines to supplement new discoveries
  • Shop in a variety of stores each week to find best deals, and like specials and discounts
  • Are heavy coupon users, and know what’s on sale before they walk into a store
  • Typically buy a glass of the house wine when dining out, due to the value.

Satisfied Sippers (14% of consumers):

  • Don’t know much about wine, just know what they like to drink
  • Typically buy the same brand–usually domestic–and consider wine an everyday beverage
  • Don’t enjoy the wine-buying experience, so buy 1.5L bottles to have more wine on hand
  • Second-largest category of warehouse shoppers, buying 16% of their wine in club stores
  • Don’t worry about wine and food pairing
  • Don’t dine out often, but likely to order the house wine when they do.

Wine Enthusiasts (12% of consumers):

  • Entertain at home with friends, and consider themselves knowledgeable about wine
  • Live in cosmopolitan centers, affluent suburban spreads or comfortable country settings
  • Like to browse the wine section, publications, and are influenced by wine ratings and reviews
  • 47% buy wine in 1.5L size as “everyday wine” to supplement their “weekend wine”
  • 98% buy wine over $6 per bottle, which accounts for 56% of what they buy on a volume basis.

Please note that this information has been directly adapted from the original authors. Other sources suggest similar terminology, but the idea of market segmentation based on lifestyles is constant and predominant in the literature. 

What does this imply for producers? Some suggestions

  1. Prioritize the overwhelmed consumer in the retail setting. Make the label clear and easy to identify, include a sales person in the most popular retail settings to help with selection (of your brand).
  2. Also prioritize the image seeking consumer by making a higher presence in social media platforms, as well as investing in packaging.
  3. Prioritize reputation for the traditionalist.
  4. Give a good bargain! For the traditionalist, the savvy shopper, the satisfied sipper and the wine enthusiast. Make these discounts easily accessible for those that take the time to reach out.

Conclusion? Do focus on packaging, marketing and discounting.

Other Market Segmentations

Some reports have focused on category segmentation, with the main segments being still wine, sparkling wine, champagne and fortified wine. Following this analysis, still wine was the largest segment in industry for 2012, accounting for 81% of the total market value.

Percent Share, by value 2012
Percent Share, by value 2012


Similarly, there has also been a focus on geography segmentation, with Europe capturing 63% of the global wine market value in contrast to the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa.

Percent share by value 2012
Percent share by value 2012

What else is important in GVC Analysis of the wine industry? Please visit these pages for an elaboration of these main topics.

Market Fragmentation

Consumers–a key player

Major Firms in the Industry

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A comprehensive and interactive analysis of the current wine industry through a GVC outlook for all audiences.