Experts v Explorers: How to reach wine’s two big demographics

CGA by NielsenIQ’s latest Wine Insight Report reveals how dividing the wine market into two key audiences can improve targeting and sales.
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The exclusive ‘Understanding the Wine Consumer’ research segments On Premise consumers into ‘experts’—people who are knowledgeable about wine and quality—and ‘explorers’—drinkers who are still learning and experimenting in the category.


Experts are typically likely to pay extra for wine if they know the quality will be high but return to varietals and producers they know and trust. In contrast, explorers are more heavily influenced by price and recommendations from friends, family and servers.


The Wine Insight Report is based on an in-depth survey of On Premise wine consumers, with insights into the two key groups including:


  • 61% of wine experts base their choices on favourite wine brands or styles—ten percentage points more than explorers


  • 55% of explorers base their decisions on price, compared to 45% of experts


  • 79% and 75% of experts and explorers are willing to pay extra for a good quality wine—and both figures are more than 20 percentage points higher than the average consumer.


CGA client director Mark Newton says: “Splitting wine consumers into experts and explorers is a powerful way for suppliers to optimise marketing and promotions. There are some exciting opportunities to encourage trial and loyalty—but they need to be carefully adjusted to these two distinct audiences. Education is the key to unlocking spend in both groups, and suppliers that can build drinkers’ knowledge and interest can grow sales and share in 2023.”


Understanding the Wine Consumer’ is the fourth and final edition of CGA’s Wine Insight Reports 2022. The series is packed with sales, outlet, channel, occasion and varietal data, building a 360-degree picture of the wine category in the On Premise and flagging key opportunities for suppliers and operators.


All reports come with comprehensive PowerPoint decks of findings that can be used in strategy and sales meetings, plus executive summaries. To learn more, click here and contact CGA client director Mark Newton at

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