April 19, 2021

Inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey Delivers Insights into Wine Consumer Behaviour

A taste of the vast store of insights gleaned from the Great BIG Wine Survey brought to you by Hollard has been released in an initial report available at no cost to wine producers, analysing South Africa’s curious relationship with wine across a broad spectrum of income and age brackets.

The in-depth analysis and publishing of findings is a collaboration between TOPS at SPAR Wine Show; KLA, a leading independent consumer insights agency; and Peter McAtamney, founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS), which provides strategic consultancy services to the wine industry on a global level. The North West University’s TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society) research unit played a pivotal role in establishing the terms of reference for the research study.

The survey featured more than 120 questions to gain insights into the South African wine consumer and attracted over 21,000 completed questionnaires. The high levels of participation were obtained via an intensive three-month web-based campaign coordinated by the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show team that targeted the South African wine-drinking public through a vast array of engaging digital marketing collateral and communications. The results were then collated into data sets by TREES, before being sent to KLA and WBS for deep analysis to provide comprehensive, value-adding findings and recommendations.

VINPRO was amongst the group of external stakeholders who offered their expertise in the development of the questionnaire and Christo Conradie, VINPRO’s Manager: Wine Business, has congratulated the Great BIG Wine Show research team on the comprehensive wine survey. “This value-add initiative and collaboration with key partners is exactly what the industry needs. While the Covid-19 pandemic and its ripple effects will be with us for a while, it’s critical to understand the latest consumer insights, conduct further analysis, and present recommendations to an array of players along the wine supply chain, specifically in the local market.”

According to TOPS at SPAR Wine Show Producer Andrew Douglas says, the survey has to date generated a wealth of new insight into complex consumer decision-making processes, preferences, spending patterns and how South Africans generally ‘ritualise’ their wine experiences. “But there is so much more to be explored. We firmly believe within the breadth and depth of findings contained within such a massive data set that we have just scratched the surface of what’s possible. We look forward to unlocking a lot more value with wine industry stakeholders in the coming weeks and future studies.”

He adds that, among many, many others, an interesting finding of the research for wine producers indicates that through customer engagement with online content, or via the targeting of those already engaged (66% of the sample indicated as such), it can be expected that those customers will pay an average of 22% more per bottle for wine.

An interesting anomaly in the research, says Douglas, is that while the majority of the respondents claim to prefer red wine, the wine industry produces more white than red in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. “Up to 53% of the respondents stated their preference for red wine vs. about 15% who prefer white.” As expected, the preference for rosé, sparkling and white wine was weighted towards women, and red towards men.

The Great BIG Wine Survey report states that “the drive to promote more premium wine purchases is the biggest growth opportunity for South Africa. To achieve this, the weighting of stock-keeping units should be towards red wine. If white wine sales delivered better volume, velocity and margin, there would be a case for focusing on white, but from global experience, this is not the case so a shift to red makes more sense.”

The survey data set will be available for deeper dives and analysis upon request. Douglas elaborates: “If wine producers and industry supply chain stakeholders want further access to the data set to examine specifics, they are welcome to approach us. In addition, we do have a report with more detailed insight into the shopper journey, with recommendations on getting it right, which is available for purchase on request.”

The Great BIG Wine Survey, initially planned as a lockdown project, will now become an annual event to benchmark and track trends, note shifts in behaviour, and measure progress, thanks to the recent signing of Hollard as Presenting Partner.

Says Hollard National Business Development Manager Andries Wiese: “Hollard is delighted to provide financial support to help meet some of the direct costs associated with the research study. Hollard’s investment in the Great BIG Wine Survey demonstrates our ongoing commitment to business improvement within the South African wine industry underpinned by our overarching company purpose of ‘securing a better future for all’.”

Wine industry stakeholders interested in finding out more about the 2020 Great BIG Wine Survey or plans for 2021, can contact Andrew Douglas at andrew@wineshow.co.za

Visit the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show website to keep up to date with all the latest information.