In & Around Food World

Print Friendly

Since many in the food industry are often attending new product events, GMR meetings, and other occasions where an open bar is always available, you won’t be surprised to hear that the wine industry has noticed an upswing in wine consumption. According to the recently released 2012 Wine Handbook, wine consumption gained 3.0 percent to reach 312.4 million 9-liter cases in 2011. The handbook is a publication of the Norwalk, CT-based Beverage Information Group.

According to Beverage Information Group, the wine industry has now marked 18 years of growth, even in the midst of a still-fragile U.S. economy.

Consumer confidence and innovation by producers contributed to these gains. New varietals such as sweet reds and higher-end blends have engaged consumers, according to the report.

“As consumers discover new varietals, regions and price points, overall wine consumption is expected to continue to increase over the next five years,” said Adam Rogers, senior research analyst for the Beverage Information Group. “The wine industry is predicted to reach 317.3 million cases by 2012.”

Domestic wines continued to outpace imports. The U.S. has a reputation of being a better value than its imported counterparts, so wines from California, Oregon and Washington fared well in 2011.

Imports did see some pockets of success, namely wines from Italy, Argentina and Spain. Millennial consumers are also helping the imported category due to their interest in lesser-known varietals and willingness to experiment.
High-end varietals saw a significant boost this past year. With more confidence in the recovering economy, consumers are dining out more where higher-priced offerings are in demand. Total wine dollar sales grew to $27.8 billion last year, with on-premise accounting for 43.8% – a 2.8% increase from 2010.

Brace yourself—the Jolly Green Giant and Cheerios Kid are on the comeback trail. General Mills is resurrecting the classic characters in two new ad campaigns which debuted recently. The campaigns will make a nostalgic appeal to convince consumers of the health benefits of the cereal and vegetable brands.

The Green Giant, who debuted in 1928, will return to take a prominent role in a TV ad for the first time in some eight years via a campaign that marks the beginning of a revival for the big fella. In recent years, the Giant had been relegated to low-profile appearances, appearing only as a shadow in some spots.

While less well known, the animated Cheerios Kid was famous in his day, appearing in TV ads in the 1950s and 1960s, encouraging kids to “connect the ‘Big G to the Little O’ to get the ‘Go’ power of Cheerios.” In the campaign he will speak to nostalgic Baby Boomers in an online video in which he gives a scientific explanation to longtime sidekick Sue about eating Cheerios that can “help naturally remove some cholesterol from the body.” The spot will initially run on You Tube, Facebook and Web MD.

In a recent article in Forbes, contributing writer Beth Hoffman writes: “Move over Boomers, the Millennials are taking over. And that shift will potentially change the food system as we know it. According to a report released this summer by Jeffries Alix Partners, “Trouble in Aisle 5” looks at the impact the generation born between 1982 and 2001 (otherwise known as the “Millennials”) will have on the grocery market as they continue to mature into people with money and families. At the same time the purchasing power of the Baby Boomer generation is slowly fading, the report says, and the group will have less impact on what is available at the supermarket.

Millinnials still prefer less expensive food and want it to be easily available. They are willing to pay for fresh and healthy food and to go to great lengths to find it.

According to the article, this shift – by millions of people – could change the market place as power is shifted from large mass market companies and brands to “the little guy” selling online or at the local corner store.
The article goes on to say that millennials have much less brand loyalty and are willing to purchase food online and to look outside of the traditional grocery store to find what they want.