Organic and vegan wines present untapped opportunity for Kiwi producers as traditional wine market plateaus
As demand for traditional New Zealand wine plateaus, winemakers should do more to cater to health conscious millenials who are driving the rapid growth in organic, suistainable and vegan suitable wines, according to industry insiders.
Data from liquor retail chain The Trusts West Auckland reveals a 45% sales increase in naturally produced or organic wines over the past year alone, compared to largely flat sales in the rest of the market with only 3% growth recorded last year Estimates suggest that the global organic winemarket could see consumption hit one billion bottles a year by 2022.
The Trusts hospitality development manager Jenny Mukerji told the New Zealand Herald that one in every 20 bottles sold in their stores was now organic, sustainable or vegan and while growing across all demographics they were particularly popular with millennials looking for wines which were aligned with their health and environmental philosophies. Mukerji said the growth in the category represents a “significant” export opportunity for Kiwi winemakers as the traditional wine market begins to slow.
"Local vineyards are producing some excellent innovative products and it is becoming increasingly important for them to understand the millennial segment who have reduced their consumption in other parts of the market.
"We are encouraging them to continue to invest in these categories to support both the domestic and the international markets".
And Mukerji said more needed to be done to clarify the terminology and certifications used in describing these emerging niches - helping to ensure consumers had a credible and consistent point of reference for product choices.
Meanwhile, Mike Farrugia managing director of RM Wine Partners said their sales of imported organic, vegan-friendly and preservative-free wine categories mirror that of the Trusts and said it was a result of an increase in consumer awareness of how a wine's origins impact its taste.
"There have been very good studies showing that overall, organic grapes tend to have lower yields, which gives you a better grape with more concentrated flavour and, thus, a better wine" he said.