Monday, September 26, 2011

Consumption of Wine in the U.S.

The wine market in the United States is a market of 206 million potential consumers among the population aged over 21 years.

This is a still below from the annual consumption of country such as Italy which are close to 50L/cap. The U.S. has overtaken France in 2010 to become the biggest market for wine consumption from all sources, accounting for 330 million boxes, up 2% compared to 2009 and a market value estimated at 30 billion USD.

Annual wine consumption per capita in 2007 according to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)
- More than 30 liters: France, Andorra, Luxemburg, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Austria, Uruguay.
- 15 to 30 liters: Australia, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Romania.
- From 7 to 15 liters: USA, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Suezia.
- From 1 to 7 liters: Russia, Brazil
- Less than 1 liter: Other Countries

The market for wines and spirits in the United States is booming. Indeed, not only wine consumption per capita increases, but in addition, with a population growth of 2 million people a year, the number of consumers is also increasing.The market does not suffer from a lack of confidence, but because of the crisis, consumers change their consumption habits because it is difficult for them to maintain the same level of expenditure. Wine sales in the segment located 20 USD and more, have registered a fall of 20% to 30% in 2009, while sales of wine costing less than 6 USD a bottle rose of 5% over the same period. However, this decline has been halted and prices started to increase in 2011. The crisis has also had positive effects on domestic consumption, since the weak dollar boosted the prices of imported wines and encouraged consumers to buy American wines and they become more competitive. 

Even if its increasing, the share of wine in total consumption of alcoholic beverages remains marginal, representing less than 10% of the total volume consumed. Beer still dominates the market for alcoholic beverages with more than 82 liters of beer consumed per capita. However, beer consumption tends to decline and, over the years, the wine is gradually gaining market share. The American wines are dominating the domestic market. It accounted for 72% of the total wine consumption in the country in 2010.

Wine sales exceeded of the French market (330 million cases against 320.6 million). The introduction of less known varieties such as Muscat, a sweet white wine whose popularity has exploded in the U.S. is a factor in this rapid increase in consumption. Similarly, champagne and other sparkling wines have experienced an increase of 10%.

Americans tasted more and more wine and the recent economic crisis has not changed their habits. In 2009 U.S. consumption of wine has increased by 0.8%, representing a total volume of 297 million cases of 12 bottles. While most Americans prefer domestic wines, some foreign countries come to take their game such as Chile, New Zealand or Portugal. According to some experts, U.S. consumption of wine should reach a volume of 310 million cases of wine in 2014. 

Source: Crédit Agricole of Aquitaine

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