Women drive wine sales up

A recent Globe & Mail report says that women have been driving wine sales up over the past decade.

As a woman who writes about wine, it doesn’t surprise me given that wine is the drink of conversation, to be savored and enjoyed with friends over dinner rather than knocked back as shots in a bar. I get several hundred e-mails every day from the 110,507 subscribers to my wine e-newsletter, many of them from women asking about how to pair wine with food or how to serve it (glass, temperature etc). Women are still largely the the social planners, whether it’s a dinner party or a casual get-together with friends. They’re also the purchasers of most household items from Shreddies to SUVs.

The article says that Canadians are drinking 12 per cent more than they did in 1998, according to Statistics Canada, and industry watchers are attributing a significant portion of the increase to women.

The large rise in consumption – as high as 24 per cent in Prince Edward Island – is thought to be the result of a number of factors: a broader product assortment that tends to attract women, successful marketing strategies targeting both sexes, and boomers who are experimenting with more sophisticated ways to entertain.

Beer sales in Canada have been consistent and Statscan says it is men who tend to drink that beverage.

Wine sales, however, have tripled in some parts of the country. Alan Middleton, a marketing expert at York University, largely attributes this boom to women.

Prof. Middleton said that as retailers expanded marketing campaigns for wine and mixed drinks over the past decade, women consumed more of those beverages as alternatives to filling, harsher-tasting beers and brown liquors.

My take on this is that a shared love of wine is another way for men and women to gather around the table together. And I’ll drink to that!

Cheers,
Natalie