Mar 30, 2011
U.S. now world’s largest wine-consuming nation
The U. S. breezed right past France in 2010 as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation, according to wine industry consultant group Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside, California.
U. S. consumption of wine grew 2% from the previous year to nearly 330 million cases. Total French consumption was 320.6 million cases in 2010.
The estimated retail value of these U. S. sales was $30 billion, up 4% from 2009. California wine accounted for a 61% volume share of the total U.S. wine market with sales at 199.6 million cases, up 1% from the previous year. Retail value was $18.5 billion. California's total wine shipments worldwide to all markets in the U.S. and abroad (including exports) were 241.8 million cases, up 2% from the previous year.
Sales of high-end wines remained challenging, but marketers used social media technology to reach increasingly wired consumers, said Fredrikson.
Fredrikson estimates that Chardonnay led the California bottled table wines, with a 5% increase in 2010 to more than 53 million cases. Cabernet Sauvignon also grew rapidly, rising 6% to nearly 33 million cases. Other California bottled varietals growing notably in sales included Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Riesling and Muscat.
Sparkling wine and champagne had a remarkable year, up 10% in the U.S, suggesting that consumers may be broadening their use of these wines beyond special occasions. The category's 15.4 million cases represent 4.6% of all wine sales in the U.S., of which the majority is produced in California, according to The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.
U.S. Wine Exports Rebound
In 2010, U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, jumped 25.6% in value to an estimated $1.14 billion in winery revenues. Volume shipments rose 1.9% to 47.3 million nine-liter cases, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. U.S. wine export volume has nearly doubled in the last decade.
Thirty-eight percent of U.S. wine exports by value were shipped to the 27-member countries of the European Union, accounting for $435 million of the revenues, up 14% from 2009. Volume shipments to the EU reached 27.6 million cases in 2010, up 11% from the previous year. Changes in the dollar exchange rate, a gradually recovering economy and California's effective marketing and high wine quality have helped exports rebound. Other top markets were: Canada, $308 million; Hong Kong, $116 million; Japan, $76 million; and China, $45 million.
Thanks to The Wine Institute for reporting these statistics.