U.S. WINE CONSUMPTION LARGELY FLAT AS COMPETITION FROM SPIRITS, BEER AND FMBS SURPRESSES GROWTH, ACCORDING TO THE 2019 WINE HANDBOOK

Norwalk, Conn. (September 23, 2019) – The U.S. wine market inched up to 347.9 million nine-liter cases in 2018, an increase of just under 1%, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2019 Wine Handbook. That’s about the same growth rate as 2017 and down from the 2.4% consumption rise in 2016, as the wine category faces increased competition from spirits and beer for share of beverage alcohol.

The Champagne/sparkling wine segment managed to keep up its growth rate of about 5.7% in 2019. The total sparkling wine category has increased 57% in the past decade and seen 17 consecutive years of gains. Sales of wines in the $15+ per-bottle price points also showed strength: Premium offerings now comprise more than 20% of the wine category volume.

Rosé continued to gain momentum as sales volume across every price category increased by at least 50% over the previous year. And the vermouth/aperitif category, which posed modest growth of 1.2% in 2018, has seen a resurgence since 2014, driven in part by craft cocktails and interest in lower-ABV beverage.

Imported wines—up 1.7%—fared better than domestic wines, which decreased slightly. Domestic wines still dominate, the Wine Handbook notes, with 265,592 million cases in 2018 and a 76.3% share of the market vs. 82,319 million and a 23.7% share for imports.

The wine category overall continues to struggle to compete with the red-hot spirits market and new beer offerings—including flavored malt beverages such as hard seltzer—for consumer attention. But marketing and packaging innovations, such as premium boxed wines and a wide range of wines now available in cans, may help wine tap into more beverage alcohol occasions.

About the 2019 Wine Handbook

The 2019 Wine Handbook is the most comprehensive source of information on U.S. wine industry sales trends. It includes consumption data and projected sales by category and by market, as well as leading brands and historical information. Categories include table, fortified and dessert wines, sparkling and Champagne, vermouth and wine coolers. The 2019 Wine Handbook is available at www.bevinfostore.com or by contacting Marybeth Came at mcame@epgmediallc.com or  763-383-4400 ext. 2216.