Exclusive: Sparkling Wine Driving Industry Growth In 2017
Facing fierce competition from spirits and a still sluggish on-premise environment, the U.S. wine market is projected to inch ahead at a modest 1.1% pace this year and reach 330 million nine-liter cases. The projected increase will mark the wine category’s 24th consecutive annual gain, according to the 2017 edition of The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s IMPACT Databank Review & Forecast. Sparkling wines, which are continuing to gain favor with consumers, are driving industry growth. Sparklers are projected to rise 8% to an all-time high of 22 million cases this year, accounting for a 6.7% share of the total wine market, compared to 4.7% share in 2010.
This year will mark the ninth consecutive annual increase for sparkling wines, which suffered a temporary blow during the global financial crisis of 2008. As the U.S. economy continues to improve, sparkling wine appears to have considerable upside as it evolves from an occasion-driven category into much broader usage. The sparkling segment is forecast to continue leading the wine market’s overall growth for the foreseeable future, and is projected to expand by 14% to 25 million cases by 2020. All other wines are projected to combine for a 2% increase over the same period.
Within sparkling wine, imports are fueling the growth. Last year, the imported sparkling segment rose 8.4% to 9.8 million cases, according to Impact Databank, driven by impressive advances from Prosecco, Champagne and Cava. Prosecco volumes in the U.S. have surged more than sixfold since 2010, rising from less than 900,000 cases to 5.3 million cases last year, led by brands like La Marca and Mionetto. Non-Champagne imports are attractive to American drinkers especially in the off-premise channel, due to the segment’s accessible pricing.
Meanwhile, Champagne brands Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon continue to lead all sparkling wines—import and domestic—in terms of retail value. Those two luxury-priced brands have combined for a solid 7.5% depletions gain the past three years, and now account for nearly two-thirds of the Champagne market. On the domestic side of the category, two méthode champenoise brands priced above premium—Korbel and Domaine Chandon—are making strong gains, while Constellation’s Cook’s and Gallo’s Andre remain the largest-selling brands by volume.
The recent wildfires in California wine country notwithstanding, the U.S. wine market is projected to continue expanding in the foreseeable future, led by sparkling wine.
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