A report released by the Wine Council of the United States (WCCUS) shows that there is a trend among wine drinkers to consume more wines and spirits than their parents did, while older consumers are becoming more selective.
The report found that about two-thirds of Americans aged 20 to 44 had consumed fewer than half of the number of wines and cocktails they had in 1965, while younger people were consuming a quarter of the same amount.
Wine consumption among the younger demographic was the highest, with nearly two-fifths of those aged 20-29 drinking a beer and a third drinking a wine or two.
The highest consumption of spirits among older consumers was in their 60s and 70s, with about half of that group drinking more than a pint of spirits a week.
“The trends suggest that our younger generation of consumers are taking up more and more wine and spirits, and this is the first time in a long time that we’ve seen that,” said Dan Mosely, CEO of the WCCUS.
“Our study shows that the growth of craft wine and beer in the United Kingdom is driving this trend.”
The WCCus report found a sharp rise in consumption of wine among younger people.
In 1965, nearly 40 percent of Americans ages 20-44 were drinking more wine than their grandparents had, while today, that number has increased to 56 percent.
The percentage of the population drinking more beer, cider, and spirits also increased dramatically.
“We’re seeing that young people are choosing wines and more craft beer in a much more dramatic way,” said Mosey.
In fact, the average number of wine purchases per person in the U.S. has more than tripled since 1965, and nearly half of those consumers aged 20 and over now make up at least a third of all wine purchases.
The numbers also suggest that the number one wine drinker among those aged 65 and older is no longer a woman, with the majority of those drinkers drinking wine and cider.
But Mose and his fellow report authors noted that it may not be too early to consider switching to a less sugary beverage if they are in the market for a good wine.
“There are certain things that we think have been underestimated, but wine is one of them,” said David A. Rieck, senior vice president and chief economist of the Wine Institute, a nonprofit consumer research group based in Beverly Hills, Calif.
“It’s a great way to spend your money and have fun.”
The report also found that the wine industry has undergone significant growth in the last few years, particularly with the rise of craft beers.
It also found strong growth in craft spirits sales, which are now a major component of the overall beverage market.
“Craft spirits are growing faster than the overall market, with spirits accounting for about a third or more of total spirits sales,” said Alyssa Stahl, president and CEO of Spirits America, which represents the industry’s craft spirits producers.
“I think we’re seeing more and better quality in craft beers and craft spirits.”
Moselle said he was not surprised by the recent growth in spirits sales.
“As spirits have grown and we’ve been able to tap into new markets, it’s been a big factor in what’s happening with the industry,” he said.
“People are getting more creative with the ingredients that they use.
We’ve seen a resurgence in craft beer and spirits and the overall spirits market.
But I think it’s just getting more and less of a big draw.
I think you’re going to see the traditional beverage market grow again.”