Less wine was consumed during the coronavirus pandemic, research reveals

The health crisis has affected the consumption of wine and champagne considerably, according to new research from Professor Nathalie Spielmann from NEOMA Business School.

Carried out with a panel of more than 3,000 consumers, Professor Spielmann analysed wine consumption behaviour in France from 2014 to 2021 and found that the health crisis has led to a sharp decline in wine consumption, both in terms of volume and value.

“The health crisis caused purchases to fall to a lower level than in 2014, with a drop of 30%,” says Professor Spielmann.

Distribution channels have also been impacted over the last seven years. Between 2014 and 2020 there was a real growth in purchases in specialised shops, the year 2021 is marked by the return in force of supermarkets as a place to buy wine.

Interestingly though, Professor Spielmann found that although consumers are increasingly careful about the amount spent per bottle (€19.66 on average in 2014 vs. €13.91 in 2021), this trend does not affect the champagne sector.

“Champagne is a product whose perceived quality is increasing, and consumers are therefore more inclined to spend a large proportion of their budget on champagne,” Professor Spielmann says.

As well as this, the study also looked at the difference between men and women’s wine consumption before the pandemic, which revealed a more consistent consumption among women than among men.

Before the health crisis, while consumption among women stabilised (from 6.16 bottles to 6.15 bottles per month between 2014 and 2020), consumption among men increased over the same period (from 7.69 bottles to 9.97 bottles per month).

In order to discover this, Professor Spielmann addressed a panel of consumers with near gender equality (49.6% men vs. 50.4% women) and with an average age of 42 years.

“Gender equality in the panel interviewed was an important criterion. Women’s wine drinking behaviour is a subject of growing interest, so this study was a great opportunity to go and analyse the reality of the situation on the ground,” explains Professor Spielmann.

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