Total value sales within the US wine market grew by 5% in current terms through 2012 to reach a value of US$39.3 billion, while total volume sales grew by 3%.
In 2012, wine maintained its recovery in terms of total value sales after posting a decline during the recession in 2009. In 2012, consumer confidence continued to slowly return and consumers once again returned wine to its traditional trajectory of positive value sales growth.
Premium wine continued to be a fast growing segment in particular, especially within other sparkling wine, still light grape wine and port wines such as aged tawnies and vintages. On-trade wine consumption was also on the up, although the economic climate remained uncertain. Consumers were still wary of high on-trade prices, with there being a boost in at-home consumption thanks to the convenience of ready mixed and mixology products.
Wine consumption continues to benefit from new wine drinkers, particularly millennials. These younger drinkers are breaking the historical pattern of entering the alcoholic drinks market through beer and then moving to wine/spirits later.
Today, many young people have really come to love wine, and this has been driven, in part, by sweeter offerings that do not require the ―acquired taste‖ of some other wines. They are also, in some ways, changing the way wine is typically consumed, drinking it chilled or on the rocks.
Sparkling wine maintained its position as the fastest growing category in 2012, recording both total volume and value growth of 6%. Champagne, which is positioned at the premium end of the market, suffered substantially during the 2008/2009 recession and continues to face a tough road ahead as it does not necessarily fall into the price range of affordable quality that consumers are currently looking for.
In 2011, Italy and France remained the two largest sources of wine imports in total value terms, bolstered by the premium options originating from these countries and the relatively high unit prices consumers are willing to pay for Italian and French wines. These can be contrasted with Australian wines, with Australia being the second biggest source of wine imports in total volume terms in 2011 (behind only Italy).
E & J Gallo Winery Inc retained its position as the leading wine producer in the US with a 22% share of total volume sales in 2012. E & J Gallo's success has come from its ability to build brand equity through innovative marketing campaigns.
For more information on the US wine market, see the latest research: US Wine Market
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