Research by the Wine Market Council finds that Americans are not only drinking more wine, but they are drinking better wine, statistics all in the industry like to see and hope continue.
“Consumers continue to drink a little bit more and they’re drinking better, and that’s across the board—beer, wine and spirits,” said Dale Stratton, vice president of Constellation Brands.
The increase in “occasions”, events that people feel purchasing wine especially for, are growing in popularity and therefore has led to the most growth in wine sales. Opening a bottle once home from a long day has also increased sales, and clearly shows a corresponding rise in table wine sales. Table wine sales have increased 4.6% on the dolly and 1.7% in volume compared to last year. One of the most surprising facts to come from the Council’s research is that 57% of all wine drinkers are not considered “core” drinkers which means they drink wine on a consistent weekly or monthly basis. This group accounts for 25% of the U.S. adult population, and consumes 93% of wine cases sold off-premise last year!
The largest and most frequent buyers by generation are the Baby Boomers (ages 49 – 67) and Millennials (ages 19 – 36), both of whom host more occasions to drink wine which largely influences market growth.
“The Millennial share of core wine drinkers continues to grow, not only because 4 million of them turned 21 this year, but also because more Millennials are in their late twenties and early to mid-thirties, a stage in life where wine consumption often rises, as we have seen with the Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers before them,” said John Gillespie, president of Wine Market Council.
A demographic that continues to be looked at closely by the wine industry is that the Latino population remains one of the largest untapped markets for wine sales. Though often associated with drinking beer and spirits, those Hispanics who do drink wine prefer specialty wines, and with their population estimated to double in size by 2050 they seem to certainly be a valuable audience for marketing and sales that should not be ignored.