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

CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opinion]
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
GrapesNew American Viticultural Area In Northern California Established
October 17, 2014
“Eagle Peak Mendocino County” lies entirely within the North Coast viticultural area. Read More
GrapesMapping Grape Crown Gall Tumor Disease
October 17, 2014
Scientists are close to cracking the disease’s genetic code, a major boon to vineyard protection. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
Apples & PearsVirginia Tech Research Center Receives Grant To Study Organic Production
October 14, 2014
Rootstocks are the focus a of project led by assistant professor Greg Peck. Read More

The Latest

CitrusGrowers Need To Take The Ball And Run — Now! [Opi…
October 18, 2014
Help yourself, your farm, and fellow colleagues by becoming more involved in your industry. Read More
CitrusScientists Uproot Common “Superweed” Myths
October 15, 2014
A new fact sheet is available that explores the truth behind two fallacies.   Read More
CitrusUF/IFAS Joins In On Specialty Crop Block Grant Bonanza
October 15, 2014
Researchers partnering with FDACS and USDA on 24 separate projects to strengthen the produce market sector. Read More
Citrus2015 Florida Agricultural Hall Of Fame Inductees Announ…
October 14, 2014
Six more to be honored for helping shape and influence the state’s farming industry. Read More
Does Leaf Cover Interfere With Herbicide Efficacy In Grapevines?
FruitsDoes Leaf Cover Interfere With Herbicide Efficacy In Gr…
October 9, 2014
A raking study investigated what effect falling grape leaves has on herbicide efficacy. See the results here from researcher John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California. Read More
Review Of Glyphosate Resistance Of Horseweed
FruitsReview Of Glyphosate Resistance Of Horseweed [sponsor …
October 9, 2014
Horseweed has been in the deeper soils of Sonoma County, California, for a few years but is now a problem. John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California, shares the problems that horseweed is causing for grape production in Sonoma County. Read More
FruitsCornell University To Host Marketing Conference
October 9, 2014
Two-day event focuses on emerging markets, wholesaling, and ethics in agribusiness. Read More
Weeds That Tolerate Glyphosate In The Western United States
FruitsWeeds That Tolerate Glyphosate In The Western United St…
October 9, 2014
Some weeds have shown a natural tolerance to glyphosate. John Roncoroni, farm advisor at the University of California, gives a rundown of these troublesome weeds. Read More
CitrusNew Jersey Green Industry Council Will Host Pollinator …
October 8, 2014
The New Jersey Green Industry Council’s 2014 Pollinator Summit is an event and issue briefing for everyone who works in Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Urges Senate To Ditch Proposed Water Rule
October 8, 2014
Farm Bureau says the time is now to have the proposed water rule withdrawn. Read More
FruitsTop 100 Grower To Receive Award From Western Growers
October 7, 2014
Top 100 Grower Gary Pasquinelli of Pasquinelli Produce Company to receive Award of Honor At Western Growers’ 89th Annual Meeting; Leno to entertain. Read More
Apples & PearsStemilt Unveils One Of World’s Largest Apple Sizers
October 7, 2014
High-tech unit, which has 79 drop points, is nearly the length of a football field. Read More
Food SafetyCenter For Produce Safety To Fund 14 Projects
October 7, 2014
The objective of the new grant awards is to provide the industry with practical research that can be used at all levels of the supply chain. Read More
FruitsUSDA Expands Access To Credit To Help More Beginning A…
October 7, 2014
Changes increase eligibility and financing options. Read More
FruitsLabor Shortage On Growers’ Minds This Harvest Season
October 7, 2014
With large crops in Washington, growers scrambling for enough hands to harvest. Read More
Citrus2014 Irrigation Show To Highlight Education
October 6, 2014
The conference, to be held in Phoenix, AZ, brings together all aspects of irrigation and water management: education, certification, networking, and innovative technologies. Read More
Farm ManagementSpecialty Crop Producers Score Nearly $118 Million In G…
October 2, 2014
Via 2014 Farm Bill, USDA seeks to bolster major driver in U.S. economy.   Read More
FruitsOrganic And Local Food Economies Receive More Than $52 …
October 1, 2014
Most of the grants were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More