Wine is quickly becoming a favorite beverage of choice for consumers as I noted in a blog post last month. For the first time ever, the number of consumers who prefer wine, 35%, is approaching the number who prefer beer, 36%. This shift in consumer preferences has big implications for marketers.
The latest report from the Beverage Information Group notes that U.S. wine sales reached 303.1 million 9‑liter cases in 2010. That’s a 2.1% increase over the previous year. These sales figures translate to an industry total revenue of $26.9 billion. Of that, 44.1% of sales occurred in restaurants and other on-premise outlets while the balance was for at-home consumption.
U.S. vintners have reason for expect higher sales in the future. The weaker dollar is translating into a strong export market. At the same time, domestic wines are increasing their market share at home because currency fluctuations are affecting importers’ profit margins. These currency fluctuations may also be affecting market shares for imported wines. While Australia had held the top position for imported wines in this country, that honor now goes to Italy. The international market turmoil is also good news for domestic producers. Native wines comprise about 75% of the total U.S. market.
“The future of the wine industry looks bright,” says Eric Schmidt, manager of information services for Norwalk, Conn.-based Beverage Information Group. “Overall wine consumption is expected to increase over the next five years to 321.9 million cases.”
To stand out, domestic wineries will need to increase their marketing programs both to consumers and to their distribution partners.
[Sources: Americans are Beer Drinkers and Wine Raisers. Gallup Poll. 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 3 Aug. 2011; U.S. Wine Consumption Continues to Increase. Gourmetretailer.com. Web. Sept. 2011. Web. 8 Sept. 2011]