Commentary: Selling Wine To Hispanics

David Eddy

A provocative economic analysis was recently
released with the title, “Marketing Wine To Hispanics,”
and subhead “The 50 Million Case Growth Opportunity.”

The author, Rabobank’s Stephen Rannekleiv, says that because Hispanics are projected to be the fastest growing ethnic minority, and they don’t drink that much wine on average, they represent a fantastic marketing opportunity. If their wine consumption could be brought up to that of the average U.S. consumer, consumption among Hispanics will increase by nearly 50 million cases over the next 20 years.

“By Rabobank calculations, that increase of 50 million cases could be as much as 40% of the total growth in U.S. wine consumption over that period,” Rannekleiv writes. “Furthermore, learning how to market to U.S. Hispanics may provide brand owners with insights to help penetrate other Latin American markets (e.g. Mexico) in the future.”

But, as the author notes, there are some huge hurdles that must be overcome in marketing wine to Hispanics. One big one is that 65% of U.S. Hispanics are Mexican, and relatively few people think wine goes well with Mexican food.

That reminds me of a wine-tasting trip to Napa years ago. At one winery, a multi-generational Hispanic family asked a tasting room employee what wine would go well with Mexican food, and he replied that he only drinks beer with Mexican food. The family patriarch smiled politely, but from his quizzical look I could tell he was thinking the same thing I was thinking: “Why aren’t you trying to sell your product?”

But the tasting room worker is in the mainstream, and the study notes that as a result it can be difficult to get any wine at a Mexican restaurant, except for maybe a couple of house pours and sangria.

Teach Your Parents Well

But there was also good news to be found in the study. Research shows that while many younger Hispanic consumers reported they were introduced to wine by their parents, the reverse was also often true. Younger Hispanics, like other millennials (ages 21-34), are drinking more wine, and they are introducing it to their parents. It stands to reason, then, that marketers should target Hispanic millennials.

What does that mean for winegrape growers? We have reported in the past on the renewed interest in wine among young people. Research shows that they don’t have the same taste in wines as their parents, who generally prefer traditional varietals, dry reds and whites like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Millennials on the whole prefer sweeter wines, and the same is true of Hispanics as a whole. That means the future looks savory for a varietal like Moscato, a sweet white made from the Muscat grape.

Despite many new plantings over the past few years, some industry analysts expect a shortage of the wine in the future, which is reportedly the drink of choice for many young women in particular. For winegrape growers in California’s San Joaquin Valley, who produce about half the nation’s total, it’s especially welcome because Muscat flourishes in the valley heat. Sales of sweet red wines, which also fare well in warmer climes, have likewise soared.

Marketing to Hispanics makes sense because they are underserved now, and just think of the future. In 2000, they comprised 12% of the U.S. population, now it’s 16%, and in 2033 it’s projected to be 22%. That’s 20 years from now, which is the average high-yielding lifespan of a grapevine. Sure, most growers don’t — or shouldn’t — plant a variety without a contract, but it’s food for thought.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories

FruitsGrower Input Needed For Spotted Wing Drosophila Survey
December 16, 2014
Results of stakeholder needs survey helps prioritize research and education activities. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vegetable Growers
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
Crop ProtectionFine Americas Bolsters Technical, Sales Force
December 16, 2014
Plant growth regulator company adds two industry veterans to enhance agriculture, ornamental, and landscape business. Read More
Apples & PearsRecord Crowds Flock To Washington Horticultural Show
December 16, 2014
More than 1,600 attend; banquet attendance is up by nearly 100. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Water Storage Program
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty Crop Block Grants
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
GrapesDoes Cabernet Franc Fit Into Bordeaux Regional Production?
December 12, 2014
Clonal selection, improving fruit topics, influence of soil characteristics were among topics French researcher presented to Finger Lakes grape growers. Read More

The Latest

Fruits6 Food Trends For 2015
December 17, 2014
University of Florida experts predict what will be cooking for the upcoming year. Read More
Apples & PearsNovember Cold May Hurt Washington Orchards
December 17, 2014
But it’s too early to tell if well-below-normal temperatures will increase tree mortality. Read More
Apples & PearsFour Highlights You May Have Missed At Great Lakes Expo
December 16, 2014
Record-setting crowd sat in on presentations featuring precision orchard management, mechanical berry harvesters, biocontrols, and more. Read More
FruitsGrower Input Needed For Spotted Wing Drosophila Survey
December 16, 2014
Results of stakeholder needs survey helps prioritize research and education activities. Read More
CitrusUSDA Offers Crop Disaster Assistance For Fruit And Vege…
December 16, 2014
Free basic coverage plans and premium discounts available for new, underserved, and limited income farmers who had been ineligible for federal crop insurance. Read More
Crop ProtectionFine Americas Bolsters Technical, Sales Force
December 16, 2014
Plant growth regulator company adds two industry veterans to enhance agriculture, ornamental, and landscape business. Read More
Apples & PearsRecord Crowds Flock To Washington Horticultural Show
December 16, 2014
More than 1,600 attend; banquet attendance is up by nearly 100. Read More
CitrusSouth Florida Takes Plunge With Major Expansion Of Wate…
December 15, 2014
New ag land partnerships, including a $124 million deal with Alico, more than double the current holding capacity. Read More
CitrusApplications Now Being Accepted For Florida Specialty C…
December 12, 2014
$4.5 million available to help fund industry-enhancing projects. Read More
Food SafetyDel Monte Recalls Fresh Cut Fruit With Apples Due To Po…
December 11, 2014
Voluntary recall enacted following the results of a random test by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food Safety. Read More
CitrusSurvey Shows Food Safety, GMOs Among Public-Issue Conce…
December 9, 2014
Need for education clear as confusion, misperception rampant among results. Read More
Farm ManagementAPHIS Accepting Comments On Streamlining Vegetable And …
December 9, 2014
Move expands general phytosanitary measures and notice-based process for approval of new imports. Read More
FruitsSumitomo Chemical Acquires U.S. DuPont Asana Insecticid…
December 9, 2014
The insect control product will be distributed through Valent U.S.A. Read More
Crop ProtectionBioSafe Systems Announces Amendment To ZeroTol 2.0 Bact…
December 9, 2014
ZeroTol 2.0 is now labeled for use on fruits and vegetables grown in the greenhouse. Read More
CitrusDemand For Florida Farmland Exceeding Supply 
December 5, 2014
High prices and water shortages in other parts of the country have potential buyers looking to the Sunshine State. Read More
FruitsA Combination Of Culprits Are Related To The Decline I…
December 3, 2014
The latest research into Colony Collapse Disorder is focused on a number of issues facing bee populations. Read More
Crop ProtectionPotential Biological Control Found For Potent Avocado P…
December 2, 2014
University of Florida scientists believe fungi could be key to beating the red bay ambrosia beetle and laurel wilt disease. Read More
FruitsGiant Washington Apple Crop Is The New Norm
December 2, 2014
Marketers agree that giant crops, like the 155 million boxes in 2014, won’t be considered monsters any more. Read More