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Lockdown wine survey

How have South African wine consumers survived lockdown?

Over a couple of empty glasses, South African wine drinkers have spilled their wine consumption habits during lockdown. Some insights from a new consumer study….

This large-scale wine survey by Consumer Solutions, a specialist research company directed by a PhD in consumer wine studies, not surprisingly has found that the extended ban on alcohol sales, has found wine lovers nostalgic, frustrated and craving their favourite glass or two.

Consumers also reported on their intended wine purchase and consumption habits after lockdown which will help wineries to re-evaluate their product and marketing strategies according to new-found wine needs.

Based on anticipated long-term changes in consumers’ wine purchase behaviour, the survey also tested two concept wine innovations, described by an eager wine lover and survey respondent as:

“Great new ideas and concepts well suited to the ‘new normal’ that will most likely continue for long after the lockdown is finished.”

Although 70% of wine drinkers stocked up on wine just before the lockdown, the same amount of consumers ended up high and dry in the first week of May already.

Some key findings…

Almost half of the wine drinkers (48.95%) reported to have consumed more wine during the first two weeks of the lockdown when compared to their average usual consumption. Nobody expected the ban on alcohol sales to continue for weeks.

At least the lockdown period will be one remembered for drinking fine wines. Wines, reserved for special occasions, were savoured by 64.35% of the wine drinkers.

Just more than 60% of wine drinkers shared a glass with friends or family over an online social gathering.  Although online wine engagement and sales are expected to rise, only 20.76% of the wine drinkers purchased wine online to be delivered after lockdown.

Prior to the pandemic, 88.9% of the sample had mostly purchased wine from a supermarket, with 48.2% spending R 80 – R 140 per bottle of wine for at-home consumption.

After lockdown, fewer than10% of the sample intend to buy and consume less wine, while more consumers intend to order wine directly from a winery (28.8%) than an online retailer (8.7%).

A minority of the sample (18.42%) participated or watched an online wine tasting with males younger than 35 years showing the most interest in virtual wine experiences.

Research structure

This report is based on survey responses gathered from 2 774 South African wine consumers from 1-9 May 2020, mostly from Gauteng (38.76%), Western Cape (35.47%) and KwaZulu-Natal (11.55%).

Corresponding with the national wine-drinking population,the sample is represented by more females than males.

The sample average age is 36.2 years with the majority aged between18-54 (89.3%).

There is a special pre-release price for this report. For more information on the full report, to be released early in June, contact Dr Nadia van der Colff at [email protected] or visit