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Japanese youth changing country's drinking habits by Graham McPherson 19/12/2012  


The wine industry in Japan could be about to change as the youth of the country begin to adopt a more inquisitive attitude towards their drink of choice.

That is according to research conducted on behalf of Wine Intelligence, which suggests that wine imports are being given a boost thanks to Japanese youngsters.

The report, whose findings were published by, shows that consumers aged between 20 and 34-years-old are driving the boom in imported wine.

Young Japanese drinkers, the study suggests, are more confident about wine and are not afraid to ask for advice when it comes to making a purchasing decision. This is in sharp contrast to the conservatism of the older generation.

Japanese youth are also more likely to be adventurous about their choice of wine and will search for varietals which are less familiar to them just so that they can enjoy a new drinking experience.

The market for wine in Asia is still thriving and a report for ProWein conducted by Wine Intelligence has revealed that while China is set to stay at the top of wine exporters list of Asian countries to deal with, it will be followed by interest from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

In the report entitled Asia – Opportunities in China and beyond, it is suggested that wine is no longer considered a luxury product in Japan, but rather something that can be drunk every day.

The trend towards more affordable wines is helping to push the idea that wine is not just for special occasions.

Chief operating officer at Wine Intelligence Richard Halstead suggested that those interested in tapping into the Asian wine market need to ensure they have a presence over there first.

He said: "The wine producers who will achieve the biggest success [in Asia] will be the ones who not only get to grips with these trends, but actually take the trouble to establish a physical presence in their target markets. It’s not possible to conquer China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan from an office outside those countries."