Now, more than ever, the SA wine industry desperately needs meaningful insights to ensure production, packaging and marketing efforts are in line with consumer needs. The inaugural 2020 Great BIG Wine Survey (GBWS) – embraced by wine producers and celebrated by industry stakeholders – established a strong foundation and paved a pathway forward for future growth. The most in-depth consumer wine survey ever undertaken in South Africa will be conducted for the second time this year with Hollard as Presenting Partner.

Says Andrew Douglas, founder of the Great BIG Wine Survey: “We have taken learnings from the inaugural GBWS along with input from key wine industry stakeholders to once again compile a survey targeting the South African wine-drinking public. The resultant insights and access to free research will equip South African wine producers to make more informed decisions amidst these uncertain and challenging times.”

[divider]Benefits of Completing the Survey[/divider]

“The domestic wine audience has never been more important to wine producers so we have decided to run the survey over a longer period,” says Douglas. This year’s survey will be open to complete until the end August. By completing the survey consumers will not only do their bit to help the wine industry but also put themselves in line to win wine for an entire year sponsored by vinoFOMO. All respondents will also receive a free pre-recorded wine course from the Pinotage Association presented by Harry Melk (who was head of Cape Wine Academy).


[divider]Key 2020 Great BIG Wine Survey Insights[/divider]

Looking back on the success of the inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey which started as a “bootstrapped lockdown project” in 2020 to assist wine producers in tumultuous times, Douglas shares: “The 400-plus report downloads of last year’s survey results are a strong indicator of how useful that data was for industry. We hosted a webinar where we offered a deeper dive into results that was incredibly well-received. Our intention is that the Great BIG Wine Survey will evolve further to the ultimate benefit of the South African Wine Producer.”

More than 80% of survey respondents reinforced that wine is for relaxing – it is encouraging to note that most people did not feel that wine was only for an elite few with higher incomes, nor that it should be drunk exclusively on special occasions. The majority indicated that wine makes ordinary meals more special.

We learned more about the role wine plays for the South African wine consumer in the first Great BIG Wine Survey. For example, pricing strategies need to consider the opportunity for premium-level pricing, as well as the relatively accessible means to ‘upgrade’ consumers from complete newbies to wine-curious, and onward.

Some interesting insights came to light in the 2020 survey results which will help inform pack and label strategies. Three in five consumers agreed that ‘wine from a can’ is a new experience they want to try, with only 28% rejecting it outright across the whole sample of more than 21 000 consumers. While two in five agree that they will purchase wine ‘if the label catches my eye’, and when it comes to labelling, 70% claim to read the back of the bottle when deciding what to purchase but different income groups place emphasis on different elements: 83% of lower income survey participants look for the alcohol percentage vs. 73% of higher income consumers check grape variety.

Multi-ethnic group of young people taking selfie photo via smartphone while enjoying party and dinner together

[divider]2021 Great BIG Wine Survey Partners[/divider]

Following the successes of the 2020 GBWS Hollard has extended its GBWS commitment for a further three years.  Says Hollard National Business Development Manager, Andries Wiese: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with such a proactive project which aligns to our overarching company purpose of ‘securing a better future for all’, particularly for an industry which has been so deeply affected by the devastating effects of this global pandemic.”

Through the engagement with strategic research partners, it became possible to fully interrogate the 2020 GBWS dataset and provide far more focused and in-depth analysis along with much needed practical recommendations.

Leading independent consumer insights agency, KLA, has again partnered with the Great BIG Wine Survey and will be responsible for coordinating the finalisation and uploading of the 2021 GBWS as well as providing valuable insight and interpretation of results.

Global Wine Industry expert and founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS), Peter McAtamney, will return to play a major role in interpretation of the 2021 GBWS findings providing highly useful comparisons to international markets.

The involvement of key industry stakeholders has been integral to the integrity, legitimacy and direction of the GBWS.  VINPRO’s Manager: Wine Business, Christo Conradie says “Wine producers and brands are in the midst of tough times, and any form of relevant intelligence, concerning the marketplace and consumer needs/preferences, is going to be very helpful, as we need to be market-driven in all our endeavours – ranging from cultivar selection at production level, style, packaging to price points. In this regard the year-on-year trend following from the 2020 GBWS vs 2021 will be incredibly useful across the wine value chain and we eagerly await in anticipation of these findings.”


To find out more about the Great BIG Wine Survey please click here.