One of the most common questions we hear regarding our venture is something along the lines of “How did you come up with this idea anyway, as college students?” or, “I didn’t know college kids these days even liked wine!” But they couldn’t be more wrong. We first came up with the idea when watching some of our older peers become frustrated that they couldn’t find a corkscrew, or simply didn’t know how to utilize it properly, and it is because this field has such a potential for improvement that we jumped at the opportunity. People think that this industry is something that doesn’t relate to us, but in fact it does; the millennial generation in recent years has become the largest consumer of wine nationwide, surpassing the baby boomer generation for the first time.
The Wine Market Council, a nonprofit organization consisting mostly of wine producers and distributors, regularly releases new research regarding the industry, and their latest convention held just a few months ago in the spring was entirely devoted to the discussion of growth in millennial consumption. According to the report, millennials have consumed 10% more wine in the past two years alone, as compared to a decrease in other generations. The younger generation also drinks more per occasion, an average of 3.1 glasses per sitting, as compared to 2.4 for generation X and 1.9 for the baby boomers. Because of these trends, the industry has been moving towards using social media to market to their increasingly younger clientele, and many restaurants have been adjusting their availability of mid-range wines sold by the glass. More relevant to us, however, is the fact that this opens up possibilities for innovations in wine packaging, since the younger generation is less set in the traditional corkscrew and more likely to value ease and convenience. As more volume of wine is produced to meet demand, there will be more variation and thus more opportunity for new opening solutions such as ours. The traditional cork has had its day, and all evidence points to the idea that the industry is ripe for a competitor such as EZ Cork.