Uno, dos, Sangria: How Sangria is set to quench Millennials? thirst for sweet wines

April 16, 2014
3 min read

With the warm season upon us, a summer classic drink, Sangria, is poised to conquer newer wine markets and go global. Indeed, while Sangria is a relatively popular drink in Iberia (as well as the US), it has little in the way of an international presence. However, the rise of fruit flavoured wine in Western Europe (most notably grapefruit flavoured rosé in France) suggests Sangria is about to finally become “on trend” in wider European and even global markets.

Sangria taps into a number of trends which are currently attracting younger drinkers around the world: a preference for sweeter, refreshing, fruitier flavours, an interest in alcohol category blurring (Sangria often involves wine and another spirit such as brandy), and lastly an interest in drinks with a rich social history.

According to Mintel research, 71% of German consumers aged 18-24, 59% of Spanish, 58% of French and 42% of Italians of the same age range prefer wine with stronger fruity flavours. In fact, they are far more likely to prefer fruity flavoured wine than older wine drinkers for whom ‘dry’ wine is often considered superior.

A regional focus gives it authenticity, variety and sophistication

Regionality increasingly matters to wine drinkers and there are many interesting regional differences in Sangria. These vary from which fruit should be used, to whether it contains red, white or rosé wine, and which spirits – if any – should fortify it. Even the name can vary. For example, in some parts of Spain it’s called Zurra and often includes peaches or nectarines, while in some regions of Portugal it includes cinnamon and “medronho” brandy.


Zoning in on regionality is a great way for products to communicate their authenticity, exclusivity, local-ness and variety – and is increasingly being used as a way to premiumise food and drink brands. Up to 50% of French consumers, 35% of Spanish, 31% of Italian and 28% of German indicate ‘specific region of origin’ as a key purchase factor for wine.

Sangria’s accessibility can help it to conquer newer wine markets

In the US, Sangria’s biggest international retail market, the product has tapped into US Millennials’ interest in sweeter wines, which they find more accessible on their palate. Hence, the rise of “Moscato madness” and sales of sweet red blends. However, this is not specific to younger Americans. In Europe too (sweet) taste is king, and 18-24 year-olds not only prefer the easier taste of sweeter wines but think sweeter wines are actually superior in quality to drier wine. For example, 36% of French consumers aged 18-24 think so, as well as 21% of French and Italian, and 18% of Spanish consumers in this younger age bracket.

Another market where Sangria can succeed is China. Chinese consumers have now become the biggest consumers of red wine globally and red wine Sangria can provide an accessible and affordable option for middle class consumers still new to the acquired taste of red wine.

One of the big attractions of red wine for the Chinese, apart from the positive cultural significance of red, is its health connotations, and Sangria’s serve with fruit can help to accentuate this perception.

Jonny Forsyth is Mintel’s Global Drinks Analyst. Having previously been responsible for researching and writing all of Mintel’s UK drinks reports, Jonny now works as a Global Drinks Analyst. He brings ten years of experience working in the marketing industry, with roles at Starcom Mediavest, AB-Inbev, and Trinity Mirror.

Jonny Forsyth
Jonny Forsyth

Jonny Forsyth is Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink, monitoring and engaging with latest innovations and market developments in all alcohol and coffee categories.

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