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A recent article published by Survey Monkey reveals a wide range of habits among survey respondents in terms of the days of the week and times of the day they are most likely to take a survey. At Wine Opinions, our 12 years of survey experience also shows some interesting behaviors by trade and consumer respondents.

The Survey Monkey data shows that most weekday survey responses begin at 7 AM and peak around 10 AM, then decline through lunch hours and reach a daily peak around 2 PM. Weekend days tell a different story. On Saturday, the morning responses are nearly the same as on weekdays, but afternoon responses are low. Sunday survey takers start later and reach a peak of responding at 9 PM.

There are very few notable differences between genders or age groups in terms of the time of their responses, though younger respondents generally start answering surveys a bit later in the morning than others.

Those taking surveys on their mobile devices follow a somewhat different pattern. They tend to take surveys later in the day, into the early evening.

At Wine Opinions, we have found that our consumer surveys get the best overall response if they are launched on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning and when a survey reminder is sent on Saturday. For surveys of the wine trade, Mondays and Fridays can be less productive than the middle of the week and the weekend.

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Wine Opinions was formed in 2005 – a time when the shift from random dialing consumer telephone surveys to online surveys of consumers was well underway. At Wine Opinions, be believed that the best and most efficient way to engage U.S. wine consumers was on the Internet, and our supposition has proven to have been correct, as today nearly all wine consumer quantitative surveys are conducted online.

Our market advantage is that we were the first research organization to assemble an online panel of U.S wine consumers, with significant skews toward those who drink wine frequently and those who frequently buy wines costing $20 and over.

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center confirms our rationale. Nearly all U.S. adults are online, as only 13% say they do not use the Internet, compared to 48% not using the Internet in a baseline survey conducted in the year 2000.

Age is the greatest differentiator, with only 1% of those ages 18 – 29 not online, compared to 41% of those who are age 65 or older. There is also a skew among those not online to having less than a high school education (34% not online, compared to only 3% of those with college or higher educations). And there is a related skew among those not online to the lowest household income levels. There are only small differences among the genders or ethnic groups, but there is a somewhat greater skew among those not using the Internet to rural communities (22%) compared to urban (12%) or suburban (11%) communities.

There are now nearly 17,000 members of the Wine Opinions consumer panel nationally, covering all major demographic segments, and they are a valuable and continually growing resource for wine marketers seeking insights on the probability of market success for their products.

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The wine industry is no stranger to the use of data in making vineyard and cellar decisions, and market research data is critical for brand positioning and sales/marketing planning.  Research companies like Wine Opinions provide data and analysis gathered from quantitative surveys of U.S. wine consumers or the wine trade for wine marketing companies, wine trade associations, and wineries large and small.  Wine Opinions has performed this service for our clients over the past 11 years.

Recently, we have added capabilities to our research services, allowing Wine Opinions clients to source consumer survey respondents from the Wine.com customer database (selecting respondents with specific brand purchase history) and trade survey respondents from the database of SevenFifty.com.

We have also been pleased to see new data sources appearing which are of great interest to both wine market researchers and brand owners.  These are streams of “big data” based on consumer behaviors measured mainly by the usage of apps downloaded to mobile devices.

Two examples getting attention recently are well worth noting by anyone interested in learning more about U.S. wine consumer behavior.  The first of these is from Enolytics, an Atlanta-based firm dedicated to “bringing the power of big data to the wine industry.”  While they are a new firm, they are off to a very good start.  Enolytics partnered with Hello Vino, a leading app for wine shoppers, on a project that focused on consumer search and shopping activities, including a number of factors such as day of the week, time of day, season of the year, and major U.S. markets.  The result is a report entitled “When is Wine O’Clock?” which is certainly of interest to wine marketers.

Another report was recently released by Vivino, a wine shopping and information app of some importance.  In May, 2016, Vivino published a report based on a survey of their users’ wine drinking habits, with a focus on when and where they are most likely to be enjoying wine.  As with the Enolytics and Hello Vino report, the findings are certainly of interest.

In a recent survey of 1,072 high frequency wine drinkers, Wine Opinions asked respondents to indicate (from a list) which wine apps they used on a weekly or more often basis.  Among the wine shopping apps, Vivino was the top choice (9.6% of respondents citing weekly or more often usage).  And while this is not an overwhelming number, it is nonetheless significant, and the popularity and usage of wine shopping, information, delivery service, and other such apps continues to grow at an impressive rate.  “Big data” offers wine marketers a new and vast opportunity to target wine drinkers and fine-tune marketing initiatives.  It is certainly a welcome addition as a source of information and knowledge.

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bchart2015 and 2016 are milestone years on the U.S. wine market.

In 2015 the World War II generation sank to single digits in millions, less than the population of New Jersey.

The youngest member of the Swing generation, though more than a dozen years behind the World War II generation, turned 70 in 2015 and Generation X saw their oldest members reach 50.

And at the end of 2015, the very youngest Millennial turned 21 on New Years’ Eve.

In 2016 the oldest Baby Boomers will turn 70 years of age.

In 2016 the youngest member of Generation X will turn 40 and, most importantly of all, the next generation – the iGeneration – enters legal drinking age in 2016 as their oldest members turn 21.

Taken together, these two years will be transformational to the U.S. wine market.

At Wine Opinions, we have conducted the most extensive generational research of wine drinkers ever, and our findings are detailed in our American Wine Generations report.

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Much of the discourse about generations and how they influence the wine market focuses on the long reign of Baby Boomers as drivers of the market and the fact that Millennial wine drinkers as a group are now edging ahead in total wine consumption. Soon, as the oldest members of iGeneration reach legal drinking age, a new topic of conversation in the wine industry will emerge, as marketers speculate on the tastes, beverage alcohol preferences, and rates of adoption of wine among this group of 61 million.

Lost in all of this is Generation X. While there are 79 million Millennials in the U.S., and 75 million Baby Boomers, there are merely 49 million members of Generation X. However, their importance to wine marketers has never been greater and continues to grow, as they reach their peak earning years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spending by generation in 2014 was $43,942 for Millennial households, and $58,202 for Baby Boomer households. But for Generation X, average household spending was $63,137. And the same report showed that average household spending on entertainment was highest among Generation X households.

Moreover, Gen X consumers are willing to spend on higher priced wines. A recent report from an online wine seller shows that the average bottle price of wines sold to Generation X customers was higher than that paid by either Millennials or Baby Boomers.

Recent Wine Opinions consumer surveys also point to the importance of Generation X wine drinkers. Among all high frequency wine drinkers surveyed, Generation X wine drinkers have, on average, made more winery visits than Millennials in the past year. And though conversion in tasting rooms to winery club membership is still highest among Baby Boomers, some 35% of Generation X winery visitors in the past year joined a wine club, compared to 24% of Millennials who did so.

Wine marketers – especially those selling wines over $20 – would be well advised to pay attention to consumers between the ages of 40 – 51. They are spending more than any other generation, they spend nearly as much on wine as Baby Boomers, and they are outspending Millennials.