Global Wine Market Germany –  Though Most Germans Don’t Drink Wine

Some surprising facts & figures:

  • The average German adult consumes approx. 25 litres of wine per year which remained constant over the last decade, ranking 27 globally, way behind number 1, the Vatican with 67 litres.
  • 61% of the German population never drink wine or less than once a month, while 8% consume 120 litres or more per year.
  • 17% of the German consumers are responsible for almost 70% of the entire wine consumption in the country.
  • An average household expenditure for wine is approx. 8 EUR per month.
  • Foreign wines are very popular, as about 64% of the consumed wine originates from other countries, above all Italy, France and Spain.
  • Despite the important white wine production in the country, Germans consume more red wines.
  • Germany is world leader in sparkling wine consumption per capita (3,9 litres/ year)


Multichannel Shoppers Demand Top Qualities

Most German consumers show a strong preference towards one distribution channel of wine: they shop either in supermarkets, discount stores, directly at wineries or in specialised wine stores. Only about 25% of the people are playful by searching and shopping in all these channels. Exactly these fickle few represent the top segment of the premium market as they are responsible for one-third of all wines sold and for 40% of the total turnover. Unsurprisingly, these “Multichannel Shoppers” show the highest interest in wine, are willing to spend the most for quality wine and enjoy wine several times a week. Furthermore, they choose the distribution channel based on the occasion: shopping at the supermarket for a get-together with friends at home, visiting a specialised retail store to acquire a bottle of wine as a gift for clients. For last-minute Christmas gifts, the online shop with next-day delivery is the preferred pick.


Tailor-Made Communication and Promotion

The different sales channels attract different wine consumers with their specific needs and interests in wine. Therefore, any strategic approach on communication and promotion depends greatly on the particular market segment it is aimed at.

On the one hand, in supermarkets the most successfully sold wines are those with strong brands and large production capacities. Campaigns for this category requires eye catching in-store and on-pack promotions and classical advertising beyond the store.

On the other hand, small producers with top quality wines are distributed best via specialised stores. Their educated staff provides personal consultation and advice, offers tastings and tells the story behind the label. Just to name some of the many steps to success, marketing should focus on educational promotion material, on presentations at gourmet fairs and events, profit from image transfer through co-operations with high-profile gastronomy and generate in-depth articles in special interest food and wine magazines by means of networking with journalists and bloggers.


Online Wine Sales are the Future of Today

For the educated wine lover as well as for the younger “generation Y” – also known as “millenials” or “digital natives” – it has become a daily routine to search for news, knowledge and special wine offers in the internet. Selling wines via the internet has become the most dynamic market segment for selling wine (from 1,3 % in 2012 to about 4% of market value in 2016). It is quite surprising though that the average price for a wine bottle is highest in the internet (6,03 EUR) in comparison to any other sales channel (discount = 2,35 EUR, supermarket = 2,85 EUR; specialised wine shops 5,74 EUR). Nevertheless, as it is a fast-moving market, trends tend to be rather volatile.

Online shopping may become the future market as it offers special opportunities particularly for small labels, quality wines and niche products such as vegan, kosher or raw wines, giving them the possibility to reach a geographically dispersed target group, gathered in the global online village. Conveniently shopping from your comfortable sofa with next-day home delivery competes with long check-out lines at the grocery store and dragging home heavy crates. Which lifestyle will win the race?

Marketing in the world of Google and Amazon is dominated by SEO optimised sites and unique content is key, as well as social media storytelling, targeted facebook advertising, cross media communication and blogger relations.


Strong trends towards Omni-Channel Marketing

Our prognosis: those who embrace all of the diverse marketing opportunities will probably prevail. As we can see already, big supermarket chains and global wine distributors are rapidly adopting these trends. Will they be strong enough to act as a counterbalance to Amazon, whose wine assortment is still very fragmentary?


Dynamic markets demand dynamic communication strategies – we stay tuned for you.



January 2017


Meike Frers

CEO ff.k Public Relations GmbH

Hamburg, Germany