In 2016 US consumers continue to reach for wine as an enjoyable beverage, even with craft beer grabbing an increased share of the alcohol beverage market.
A review of the 2015 wine statistics and buying trends for 2016 are generally positive. Most experts predict another good year for wine, at its usual 1 to 2% growth rate in the US. Despite fluctuating stock markets, a very competitive alcoholic beverage industry, whispers of recession, and fast-moving social media/apps that can influence trends overnight, in general wine seems to be well positioned for 2016. However it could be a pivotal year for American wine, if the industry doesn’t begin to innovate as fast as the competition.
Statistics for the US Wine Industry in 2015
- Revenues for US Wine Sales = $38 billion, a 1.3% increase from 2014 (Gord0n, 2016)
- Number of Outlets in the US selling wine = 545,907 (Brager, 2016)
- Total cases shipped: estimated 383 million, a 2% increase from 2014 (Fredrikson,2016)
- Percentage from California = 60%, 230 million cases
- Percentage from Other States = 9%, 36 million cases
- Percentage from Imports: 31%, 117 million cases (21 million in bulk)
- The US continues to be the largest wine consuming nation since 2010 (Wine Institute, 2015)
- 2015 is the 23nd consecutive year of grown for US wine sales
US Wineries & Consumers
- Number of US Wineries in 2015 = 8702 (Fransen, 2016)
- 5 Largest Wine States by # of Wineries: California 4054, Washington = 718, Oregon, 689, NY = 367, Virginia = 262
- Percentage of US Adults who drink wine: 40% (Halstead, 2016)
- US Wine Consumption per Capita: 3.14 gallons (11.9 liters) in 2014 (Wine Market Council, 2015)
- Gender Percentage = 57% female and 43% male (Nielsen Spectra, 2016)
- High Frequency Wine Drinkers = 35% of US wine drinking population, or those who drink wine several times per week; an increase of 2% since 2010 (Gillespie, 2016).
- Percentage Sales by Wine Color = Red: 46.3%; White: 44.3%; Pink: 4% (Brager, 2016).
- Largest Wine Consuming Generations = Millennials at 36% and Baby Boomers at 34% (Gillespie, 2016)
Wine Sales Channel Performance in 2015
Off-Premise– sales of wine in grocery stores, wine shops, and other off-premise establishments continued to perform well, with double digit value and volume growth in 4 price points: $11 – $14.99, $15 – $19.99, $20-$24.99 and over $25 (Brager, 2016). Despite this, 75% of the wine in the US is still sold at $9 and under. (Fredrikson, 2016)
On Premise – sales of wine in restaurants, bar, and other on-premise establishments continued to remained relatively flat in 2015. Dollar sales were up .1%, but volume was down by -4.1%. Varietals selling well on-premise were Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon (Guest Metrics, 2016).
Direct to Consumer Shipping (DTC/Ecommerce) – online wine sales and shipping direct to consumer was a bright spot in 2015. According to ShipCompliant (2016), revenues hit $2 billion, an increase of 8.1% from 2014 with 4.2 million cases shipped. Thought still only 1 to 1.5% of total wine sales volume in the US, DTC is doing well and expected to increase over the next few years. Average bottle price was again $38, and wineries can now ship directly to 43 states (Fredrikson, 2016).
US Wine Exports – though not a large wine exporter because the US tends to consume most of its own wine, in 2014 the US exported 49.2 million cases worth $1.49 billion in revenues (Wine Institute, 2015). This was down slightly from previous years due to a port slowdown on the West Coast.
Hot Wine Trends Now and for 2016
Premiumization Continues– the desire to try a more premium product and pay more for it, or “premiumization” is expected to continue in 2016 for wine and other alcoholic beverages. This is reflected in consumers paying more for wine and the double digit increases in the $11 – 25 price range. This should continue unless something happens in the economy to spook consumers.
Hot Wine Styles: Sparkling & Sangria – though still table wine continues to grow in value and volume, sparkling wine, especially Prosecco, is extremely popular in America and grew at 11.7% in value, while Sangria grew at 9.8%, according to Nielson (Brager, 2016).
5 Most Popular Wine Varietals – surprisingly the slightly tart and refreshing style of Sauvignon Blanc won the prize for most increased value(13.3%) and volume change (10.7%). This was followed by the continuing hot trend of Red Blends, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and then Pinot Grigio (Fredrikson, 2016). However, the highest volume varietal sold in the US continues to be Chardonnay.
Most Popular Imports – Americans continue to be in love with wines from Italy and New Zealand. However both France and Portugal made great showings in 2015 with 10.8% and 8% increases in value for wines from both countries (Brager, 2016).
Fastest Growing Wine Containers – though the 750 ml glass bottle still dominates the US market at over 50% of the volume of wine sold, the 3 Liter Box and Tetra pack continued to grow in popularity (Fredrikson, 2016)
- Brager, D. (2016). US Wine Consumer Trends – Battle for the Next Pour. 11th Annual Wine Market Council Research Conference on U.S. Wine Consumer Trends. Jan. 25, 2016. New York, NY.
- Franson, P. (2016). Number of United State Wineries Reaches 8,702. Wine Business Monthly, pgs. 76-81, Feb. 2016 Issue.
- Fredrikson, J. (2016). State of the Industry. Presentation at Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Jan. 27, 2016. Sacramento, CA.
- Gillespie, J. (2016). Overview of US Wine Industry. 11th Annual Wine Market Council Research Conference on U.S. Wine Consumer Trends. Jan. 25, 2016. New York, NY.
- Gordon, J. (2016). U.S. Wine Sales Total $38 billion. Wines & Vines, Jan. 15, 2016. Available at: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=news&content=163380
- Guest Metrics. (2016). ON-PREMISE TRENDS END THE YEAR ON A LOW NOTE, CRAFT SPIRITS BIG WINNER IN 2015. Guestmetrics.com Blog. Jan. 22, 2016. Available at: http://www.guestmetrics.com/blog/2016/1/22/january-2016-industry-report
- Halstead, L. (2016). Industry of Tomorrow. Presentation at Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Jan. 28, 2016. Sacramento, CA.
- McMillan, R. (2016). 2016 SVB Wine Report. Silicon Valley Bank. Available at: http://www.svb.com/wine-report/
- Nieslon Spectra (2015). The US Wine Consumer Report.
- Quackenbush, J. (2016). Wine sales growth slows to 2% as consumers upscale. North Bay Business Journal. Available at: http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/northbay/sonomacounty/5139096-181/wine-sales-growth-slows-2015?gallery=5146124#page=2
- Shanken Daily News. (2016). Wine Market Council Finds Generational and Involvement “Gaps” Increasingly Pivotal To Industry. Shanken Daily News. Jan. 27, 2016
- ShipCompliant (2016). 2016 Direct to Consumer Report.
- Wine Institute (2015). California Wines Fuel $1.49 Billion in U.S. Wine Exports in 2014. Available at: http://www.wineinstitute.org/resources/pressroom/02252015
- Wine Market Council (2015). Research. Available at: http://winemarketcouncil.com/research/
Photo Credits: L. Thach