Thinking of going Vegan, Organic or Sustainable?
It is estimated that by 2030, the organic wine market alone will be worth $30 billion.
While conventional wines are still doing exceptionally well in the market, unconventional wines are becoming increasingly popular. Are these unconventional terms like biodynamic, vegan, organic, or sustainable wines worth looking into?
Not too long ago, we limited terms like ‘vegan’ and ‘organic’ to a tiny, insignificant market. However, in 2021, this market is no longer insignificant. The market for vegan, organic and sustainable wines is sky-rocketing.
Organic Wine: In the past decade, the demand has shifted dramatically, as more consumers have become conscious about what they consume. It is estimated that by 2030, the organic wine market alone will be worth $30 billion. The demand for organic wine is primarily driven by individuals’ consciousness of their health and environmental impact.
Vegan Wine: There is no denying that veganism is a massive market that continues to grow at rapid rates. As mentioned, consumers are more aware of their health and consumption. Still, the vegan market appeals to a slightly different market than the organic market, as the vegan market is more centered around the well-being of animals. Notably, the number of vegans in the UK has increased by 350% in the last ten years. While many consumers are still unaware of animal products in wine, the demand for vegan wine is on the rise.
What This Means
Essentially, winemakers can still get away with producing conventional wine, but the statistics are clear. As the trend of biodynamic, vegan, organic, or sustainable wines continues to grow, wineries need to adapt to stay relevant.
Farming organically or biodynamically is a more significant challenge, as most wineries require years of organic farming before being certified. This requires substantial planning and adapting to become certified organic or biodynamic producers.
However, simply replacing animal products in the winemaking process will open up your wines to the vegan market. This minor adjustment will allow you to tap into a niche market and still appeal to conventional consumers too.
Natural wine is fortunately still a tiny market with limited interest. That being said, winemakers still need to be aware of this potential market. As more consumers become aware of additives and preservatives, the natural wine market has the potential to grow exponentially. So, there is no harm in preparing for this in order to be at the forefront when the market peaks.
The Different Certifications (USA)
Under the USDA laws, certified organic wines must meet the National Organic Programs requirements in terms of viticulture and viniculture. There are limitations on the pesticides, additives, and even types of yeast allowed in the winemaking process.
Alternatively, winemakers can use a certification, “made with organic grapes.” This certification allows more leniency in terms of winemaking practices, as it allows more preservatives additives. This certification is more accessible for wineries to attain than ‘certified organic.’
In order to become a certified biodynamic producer, winemakers essentially have to incorporate nature in all aspects of the process. This includes harvesting at certain moon phases, using specific manure and fertilizers. While it is one of the few internationally recognized certifications, few producers have opted for this option as this market remains small.
Sustainability in Practice (SIP)
Essentially, the SIP program grants producers a certification if they meet the criteria for energy, water and general environmental efforts. This certification is ideal for consumers trying to reduce their environmental impact by purchasing sustainable products.
There are several vegan certifications that international companies accept. Most notably, Vegan.org grants a logo trademark in several countries. This certification guarantee that winemakers use no animal or animal by-products in the winemaking process. This is probably the more accessible certification for winemakers looking to tap into one of these niche markets.
Other than these handfuls of certifications, many U.S. states recognize several different certifications unique to those states. International certificates are also granted, which producers can apply for.
It is important to remember that as any business market grows, evolves and adapts; these are some of the trends that wineries need to be aware of. In order to thrive or survive, it is crucial to adjust with the market. So whether you’re looking at producing vegan, organic or sustainable wines, you’re bound to tap into a powerful market.
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