The pandemic has brought wellness, health-consciousness and environmental responsibility into increased focus for consumers across the global beverage alcohol landscape. A heightened emphasis on ingredients, authenticity, self-care and the environment are increasingly shaping consumer purchasing behaviours.
For wine producers, this is a key driver behind the growth of the organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wine movement. In fact, for some consumers, particularly for younger LDA millennials and Gen Z, alignment with environmental and social issues confers a growing badge value to brands.
The wine industry is gradually catching up with consumer need, creating the necessary certifications to give structure to the segment and instil trust in such products. Organic certification is well established and there is a growing number of biodynamic certification bodies. To date, ‘natural wine’ has not been as clearly defined, but this is beginning to be addressed. In March 2020, several government and trade bodies convened to create the ‘Vin Méthode Nature’ charter, laying the groundwork for a widely accepted certification of perhaps the most controversial element within the sustainable wine movement.
Despite a relatively flat global wine market and higher average retail prices, certified-organic wine volume consumption has increased close to 9% on average a year (2014 to 2019). This has been backed by an exponential increase in certified area under vine (and in conversion), particularly in Italy, Spain and France.
However, organic is not yet a truly global phenomenon: the top five organic wine markets – Germany, France, the UK, US, and Sweden – account for over 60% of global consumption and the top 10 account for 80%.
Looking ahead, we can expect organic wine to command increasing share of total wine consumption. In the US, for example, a growing ecommerce and DTC segment will help to bolster the momentum of organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wines. In Italy, a new wave of organic and IGT-certified Tetra Pak wines is targeting younger LDA consumers interested in quality at a more accessible price point – take the Tavernello Bio range and the San Crispino Bio range for example. Both products use packaging and branding to highlight quality and environmental cues to their target consumers.
Globally, organic’s share of total wine consumption currently sits at 2.75%. This is expected to climb to around 4% by 2024.
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