New Research: 2021 Wine Industry Trends

Predicting the Waves of Change

In 2020, the U.S. wine market size was estimated to be around $88 billion and the global wine market around $326.6 billion. And while the bulk of wine sales come from the top commercial producers, the vast majority of the 11,053 wineries in the U.S. produce fewer than 5,000 cases per year*. That means there are thousands of boutique and family-run wineries out there trying to figure out how to stay relevant and grow their businesses without gigantic marketing budgets or corporate conglomerates backing them.

Who knows better than wineries themselves what wine market trends are on the horizon? We decided to talk to winery owners and executives directly to get their takes on what’s coming next. Independent and family wineries can embrace these waves of change to fuel growth and recruit new generations of wine drinkers into the fold.

*Source: Wine industry statistics from WinesVinesAnalytics, 2021

Our Wine Market Research

Ekos surveyed nearly 300 wineries and spoke to eight respondents in depth over the phone to get their detailed insights. The wineries we spoke to were of varying sizes and the employees themselves ranged from owners to winemakers and salespeople, among others (see charts below). Furthermore, our sample included a mix of wineries that both do and do not buy bulk wine or bulk juice from a third party in order to make their wine.

With regard to 2021 wine trends, we asked the following question:

How do you think the wine industry will change in the next 5 years and what trends will drive that change?

The question was completely open-ended, and we grouped the responses into six primary categories. Those were, in no particular order:

  • Product changes
  • Consumer taste
  • Oversupply of grapes
  • Digital and DTC
  • Consolidation
  • Millennials

What Are the Biggest Wine Trends in 2021?

Results of our survey question about what will drive change in the wine industry over the next 5 years

While all of the trends above were mentioned by some wineries, several stood out far and above the others as most prominent on their minds. As a result, we identified three major waves of change that winery owners and executives predict will affect the industry over the next five years.

Learn about each of these waves and get our top recommendations for staying ahead of the curve by downloading the complete report for free. In it you’ll find a breakdown of the responses as well as direct quotes from wineries across the country who are facing shifts in the industry with both eyes open. 

Get your copy of 2021 Wine Industry Trends: Predicting the Waves of Change now.

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Written by Josh McKinney