The United States is the largest retail wine market in the world and one of the fastest growing markets in terms of both consumption and production. The market has expanded rapidly in the past few years due to increased consumption, government support, online wine purchasing, and a growing younger population of wine enthusiasts. Over 100 million people in the US are now drinking wine.
U.S. data market in 2014 and forecast
In 2014 the U.S. consumed 339.6 million cases of wine, a figure which will increase by 11.3% to 377.9m by 2018.
In overall value terms, the U.S. leads the world, consuming $29.5 billion of wine, up 23% on 2009, and set to increase to $33.2billion by 2018.
While the U.S. consumes the most still and sparkling wine in the world, it is slightly behind France in red wine consumption, and second to Italy in white wine consumption.
According to projections by IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Record), by 2018 the US will be the top consumer of red and white wines worldwide.
Per capita consumption
The U.S. lags far behind Europe, consuming around 10 liters per head, compared with 48 liters in Italy, 47 liters in France and 24 liters in the United Kingdom.
Consumption of wine per capita is declining in most European countries whereas it is increasing in the United States.
The sparkling wine segment drove the growth of the U.S. wine market, with an estimated increase in volume of 3% to 16 million cases registered in 2014.
Sparkling wines represent a 5% share of the U.S. wine market.
Imported sparkling wines grew by 6.6% to 7.1 million cases in the same year.
Forbes predicts a breakout year of growth in the fine wine category in the 14–18 percent range in 2015 and that 2015 will be a year of both volume and price increases in the fine wine segment, driven by an improving economy and higher demand.
The Boomers lead sales in the fine wine category, and the Gen X has the second largest market share.
Italian export in the U.S.
Exports of Italian wine and sparkling wine to the United States is expected to exceed 1.7 billion dollars in 2015.
In 2014, the U.S. imported more than 2.4 million hectoliters from Italy, for a total value of 1.3 billion dollars.
Italy is the lead exporter in the U.S., importing 1 million hectoliters and 950 million dollars more than the second wine exporter (Australia).
Italy continues to lead in exports to the U.S. by limiting the rise in prices, in 2014.
The price points between $10 and $20 should see the greatest consumer demand. Despite the higher volumes, 2015 will allow some increases in bottle prices above the $20 price point.
The lower end of the market — below $8 retail — is already trending down. A strengthening dollar could increase bulk imports, so the lowest end of the market from a price perspective will probably see price discounting and perhaps volume declines as well in 2015.
In the $10–$20 part of the market, there is a lot of wine available to be sold. Branded wines will soak up some of that, such that we expect to see volume increases and some discounting.
Wines priced from $15–$18 will have better luck maintaining their price.
Sales share in the U.S.
Boomers are dominant across the board on price, taking the market share in every price range. Gen Xers shows up second in market share in all prices.
Millennials appear to have a larger market share than Matures, with the exception of the highest-priced wines, and they are starting to overtake Matures in the lower-priced categories.