Both the number of wine consumers and the amount of wine consumed in Hungary have fallen significantly in recent years, according to surveys by the National Council of Mountain Communities.
As Világgazdaság reports, comparison of the 2017 and 2023 surveys shows that only the wealthiest have not seen a fall in wine consumption, with the lower and middle classes both buying less. At the same time, sales of almost all alcoholic beverages have fallen, with only the popularity of spirits rising slightly. Feedback suggests a small increase in the popularity of foreign wines, especially among young people.
Red wine consumption fell by 7%, rosé by 5%, as did dry and semi-dry wines, which now account for almost 50% of total consumption.
Based on information from the council, the share of wine and beer in the consumption of under-35s is almost the same.
Photo via Pexels
Young people prefer fruity and citrusy wines, while wines with a high sugar content were the most popular in the taste test. The entry-level category for novice consumers is rosé, alongside sweet wines, making tasters more likely to be adult wine lovers, they added.
Champagne and sparkling wine are the favorites of young people. In the alcohol market, beer or short drink drinkers are much more active. Today, beer accounts for roughly 40 percent, spirits 30 percent, and wine only 23 percent.
Compared to a decade or two ago, Hungary has made great strides in the production of quality sparkling wine
. While the consumption of wine and champagne is declining in Europe, in Hungary it is still fashionable to drink “bubbly,” and the sector is booming. As mixed drinks have entered the market, it is a challenge to sell quality drinks such as sparkling wine in Hungary.
Feedback suggests that wine is increasingly being seen as a special and expensive luxury item, threatening to marginalize its consumption, no longer making it a common alcoholic beverage.
An increasing number of people are explaining this refusal by saying that drinking wine is not a family tradition.
The National Council of Mountain Communities has organized this year’s survey in a similar way to the first comprehensive representative market survey in 2017. Eight people participated in five groups each of the online focus group discussion, while 1,500 people filled the national market survey.
Despite the decline, the government considers the wine sector, one of the main drivers of the agricultural sector, a special priority. Hungarian wines and sparkling wines have recently returned to the forefront of Europe, further strengthening the reputation of Hungarian agriculture and the food industry.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image via Facebook/Nagy István