Younger consumers may have been seduced by canned cocktails and other ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages in recent years, but Eduardo Durazo Watanabe believes wine remains a viable choice.
One of the consequences of social isolation because of COVID was the increment of alcohol consumption. Even if we weren’t all by ourselves, the circle of family and friends over these two years certainly has shrunk and more people than ever are entertaining and gathering at home. That drove us into missing the usual drinks at bars that we enjoyed and the alcohol brands caught on that idea and offered canned cocktails.
Companies trying to capitalize on their brand are offering more easy access ready-to-drink cocktails. Even though they have been around for a long time, a great difference today is that the quality of canned cocktails has skyrocketed in the last few years, and there are more choices than ever before. It seems that we can find a new brand launch every week – from seltzers, spritzers, the usual popular Margarita, Mojitos and Paloma drinks to the innovative sparkling tequila, kahlua with nitro, or spiked sodas. There seems to be no limit to mixology imagination that can be found these days in stores.
But even with these new myriad of offerings of high quality cocktails, there is still some downside into them. They are still relatively expensive to buy due to high cost of production and taxes; despite their good quality, there are still some perks to our local bartender mixing our favorite drink with freshly squeezed ingredients.
We are now getting a glimpse into what can be a return into the pre-pandemic social life and people may go back to the usual night out where a canned cocktail may not be the first choice.
There is no doubt that alcohol helps socializing, but adding to that, there are some drinks that have become part of the culture. Young people get their drinking experience with friends and family and wine has a long tradition in families.
A Wine For Everyone
Young people tend to look for new experiences, and canned cocktails seem to fill that curiosity, new flavors, bright logos and a lot of marketing for sure appeal into the expectations for something new. Here is where wine has a good opportunity, with the access to global wine markets, there is a type of wine for everyone’s taste.
Into a complex and terroir-forward wine? A French Cabernet Sauvignon will do the job. Looking for an inexpensive but high-quality sparkling wine? Try an Italian Prosecco. Prefer s more fruity white wine? Maybe an aromatic South African Chenin Blanc will do the job. A velvety, easy-to-drink red? A California Pinot Noir is a no-brainer.
In short, there is a good choice of wine for every taste and budget.
The challenge is now for the wine associations and wine makers to communicate to the younger demographic the full spectrum of choices that the wine world has to offer. Wine possibilities are wider than expensive bottles for an anniversary or graduation party. Wine can be an everyday choice – one that has proved its health benefits – but particularly for its capacity to appeal to many palates. Information then must be ready-to-choose when you get to the point-of-sale or the website. That way new wine enthusiasts will have an easier task picking the right wine for the right occasion, and within their spending capacity.
Wine consumption still has room to grow, but that possibility lies in how good wine is marketed so it can again take the lead.
Eduardo Durazo Watanabe is Coordinator of the Masters of Business Administration and a Research Oriented Professor at CETYS Universidad in Baja California. He is co-author of the book “Cultural and Creative Industries: A Path to Entrepreneurship and Innovation“. He is also an analyst at the television networks Uniradio TV, Telemundo Tijuana and PSN.