Wine Vision: Sobriety trend to harm wine sales

A trend towards sobriety among younger drinkers and increased regulatory pressure could reduce wine sales of the future, according to Barry Clark of Future Foundation.

Speaking at Wine Vision 2014 on the future of wine, Clark divided the drinking occasion into contextual – routine and habit-based drinking – and pretextual – unplanned or event-based drinking. The former drinking occasion, is under threat in many global markets, said the consultant.

Clark explained that sobriety is becoming a social norm among many Millennial consumers, with a recent poll suggesting 47% of people in the UK, 45% in the US, 48% in Brazil, 50% in India and 38% in Italy make an effort to reduce alcohol consumption.

In tandem, there is an increase in health-tracking Apps which “dramatise alcohol consumption” making drinking “less easy to brush off”.

Clark described increases in regulations as part of an "assault on pleasure” that, in the UK is flanked by the “relentless press coverage of the negative sides" of alcohol consumption.