The first involves slight growth, 2% in volume in 2008 over the previous year, which is still impressive considering the challenging economy. A case, no pun intended, could be made that says as people face difficult times, they drink more — choosing low-cost quantity over quality.
Other interesting highlights from the report:
- $18.5B – the total retail value of all wine shipments in 2008
- 875,00 – number of wine-related jobs in the US
- 35% – ratio of those jobs located in California
- US wine exports reached $1B last year (that’s 55 million cases) with largest increase to Canada, up 11% (what, less beer?!)
- Red leads white slightly 44% vs. 42% respectively (with the remaining 14% blush)
According to a consultant:
“Wine continues to move further into mainstream American adult lifestyles, with sales expanding incrementally based on cautious consumer spending,” said consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg-Fredrikson & Associates. “Consumers are changing their buying patterns by ratcheting down their everyday wine purchases to lower price points, but splurge on higher-priced wines at times because they view wine as an affordable luxury.”
So there you have it, probably no surprises: red wine consumption continues to outstrip white slightly, exports are increasing to Canada and Europe, and interestingly Pinot gained the most in retail sales (up 16%).
The recession is having an impact. Restaurant sales of wine are down 10% as “consumers dined out less and purchased lower-priced bottles and wines-by-the glass” and “Businesses scaled back on travel and entertainment budgets.”
[Source, Wine Institute: 2008 California Wine Shipments Hold Steady Amid Economic Downturn]