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The Changing Customer

The Changing Customer

It is hard to even remember what it was like to not to have access to a smartphone. Life was extremely different when everyone had landlines and had to send a letter instead of a message or look up an encyclopaedia instead of using google! It seems hard to fathom even surviving a day without a smartphone or some electronic device. In fact 50% of people in a recent survey claimed they would give up coffee or sports and 10% would prefer to go without shoes rather than giving up their smartphones.

The focus is now adapting and targeting the iGeneration (b.1995-2007) rather than just the Millennials (b. 1977-1994) as the iGen’s do not know life without devices. There are now 2.5bn smartphones on earth with 34% of shoppers now saying their mobile device is their preferred shopping tool.

So how has this caused customers to change their buying patterns and how does this affect the beverage industry?

Customers are more empowered than ever before. They are increasingly doing their own research and making their own options known. Approximately 72% of consumers said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use local business. The iGeneration, Millennials and Gen Z are influenced by their peers more than traditional advertising. It has been found that 16-24’s are skeptical of celebrity endorsements with many perceiving them as transactional and inauthentic.

Customers are interacting in even shorter periods on their devices which makes it challenging to connect with today’s market. The big beverage brands are trying value-added content and experiences (less direct selling) and making the brand more personable.

Another challenge is some younger drinkers are reducing or avoiding alcohol altogether, especially in Europe. This trend is also emerging in Latin America and Asia. It is has been found that 53% of UK 18-36 year olds either do not drink alcohol or have reduced their consumption in the past 12 months. Luckily for the wine industry, wine is still perceived as the “healthiest” alcohol choice.

Cocktails have become increasingly popular with the Millennials. Wine has also had a big role in the rise in cocktails. Prosseco has become extremely popular due to the rise of the Aperol Spritz. The popularity of “frose” shows still wines can also tap into the cocktail trend.

Drinkers are now seeking quality over quantity. Global wine and spirit drinkers are trading up to premium and super-premium segments. More brands will focus on natural ingredients/processes because Millennials view “natural” as being healthier. The trend of “natural wines” limits the use of chemical/human intervention in the wine making process, which is seen as being more authentic by young drinkers. Another interesting trend is the growth of legal cannabis in drinkable and edible formats in North America. This is set to disrupt alcohol sales in North America due to the Millennials preference of cannabis over alcohol.

At VI Packaging we are constantly reviewing how we can make life easier for our ever changing customers. We have developed a “shopping experience” on our website with images of all the products we sell, where our customers can select the packaging required and add it to a shopping cart. If you select the bottle you require, then the closure, carton and dividers for that bottle will appear so it takes the guess work out of ordering. It means that shopping for wine packaging can be done on your mobile device even at home while sipping a wine on the couch. Check out our product catalogue.

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