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Decline of Wine? Spirits Attract Celebrity Partners and Outsell Wine for First Time in 45 Years

Boomers love wine, but that may not be enough to keep it flying high. A new report of sales figures from 2023 shows that spirits outsold wine for the first time in 45 years. Combined with a story I shared recently about how Gen Z is not drinking as much alcohol as previous generations, it seems the wine industry overall has been struggling to reach younger consumers. In contrast, despite the early demographic data around Gen Z drinking habits being lower, spirits experienced a 13th straight year of sales growth.

Culturally we can see this playing out as well. Famous actors and other celebrities are teaming up with distillers to launch new premium spirits like gin, tequila and mezcal. A generation ago, famous Hollywood directors or others would put their name on a vineyard. Today very few celebrities are getting attention for teaming up to launch a wine. Meanwhile George Clooney, the Rock, Ryan Reynolds, Jamie Foxx and Jay Z all have popular liquor brands that get lots of attention.

What do you think – is this the decline of wine or just a momentary blip? Certainly, the collector’s market is still heavily about wine. And hardly anyone has a tequila cellar. At least, not yet. 

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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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