NORWALK, CT - A difficult economy may be forcing Americans to do without some things, but wine isn't one of them. Consumers are buying more each year. According to the Beverage Information Group's recently released 2010 Wine Handbook, the wine industry continued to post positive results in 2009, marking its 16th consecutive year of case gains. Overall wine consumption rose 0.8% to 297.0 million 9-liter cases. Off-premise consumption continues to grow to 14.6 billion, helped by a competitive marketplace exploding with new brands and competitive pricing.
Consumers have become more discretionary in their disposable income since the economic downturn. They have embraced "trading down" as well as searching for better bargains online. This is especially true of the Millennial generation's 70-80 million members (21-33 year olds) who are willing to experiment and are bargain savvy, using electronic media to find the best deals.
According to the 2010 Wine Handbook, domestics continue to outpace imports. Domestic wines rose 1.8% to 222.7 million cases while imports dropped 2.2%, landing at 74.3 million cases. Growth is still being seen among smaller countries such as Chile, New Zealand and Portugal.
"As the country recovers from the recessionary environment, the wine industry continues to look positive," says Eric Schmidt, manager of information services for the Beverage Information Group. "We expect to see wine consumption increase to 310.7 million cases by 2014."
For more on wine sales in convenience stores, see the NACS Magazine articles "Retailers Ask, 'Wine Not?€™" and "Nothing to Wine About."