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Wine Market Council plans 'health and wellness' study, names Dale Stratton president

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A Napa-based wine market research group has a new president and plans a research project on how the beverage fits into consumer perceptions of health and wellness, a key concern industry analysts have noted for long-term sales growth.

Wine Market Council named Dale Stratton president, replaceing Steve Burns who left the post in January.

“As a former Wine Market Council board member, I know first-hand the real-life importance of our work; I’m honored to now lead the team as we continue to grow our membership, develop new partnerships and chart a path for 2020 and beyond,” Stratton said in the announcement.

It added that Stratton brings more than 35 years of alcohol beverage industry experience to his new role. Most recently an independent consultant, he was formerly vice president for commercial insights at Constellation Brands and also spent 22 years at E. & J. Gallo winery, leading distributor management, account management and strategic insights.

Also this year, the council plans to partner with the consumer data analytics company Nielsen Global Connect on a wine and wellness study.

The survey is designed to chart wine consumption habits of U.S. consumers “at the intersection of health and wellness.”

“We know consumers have a huge array of beverage choices, and are searching for convenience, a great experience, and healthy options. We want to better understand where wine fits into these new trends and how the category can adapt,” said Danny Brager, senior vice president of the beverage alcohol practice at Nielsen, in the news release.

A growing number of younger adults are reaching for beverages lower in calories and alcohol, spurring social media movements such as "Dry January" and causing producers to roll out adult beverages to tailor to those preferences.

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