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U.S., wine market down in 2022, and 2023. But not above $15 a bottle

Forecasts and analysis from “The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast”
US, wine market in decline. Thus Shanken’s Impact Databank (ph: pck.vector on Freepik)

For Italian wine, in the U.S., 2023 is off to a fairly good start, with exports growing by +10.7% in value in the first quarter over the same period in 2022, to 446 million euros, as measured by Istat data updated by WineNews. But what is the leading foreign market for Italy, and the world’s leading market for wine consumption, is slowing down, and this is something that cannot be overlooked. As well as the fact that, against a backdrop of overall decline, the range of wines above $15 on the shelf continues to grow. “After 27 years of consecutive growth, wine industry volumes declined for the second year in a row in 2022. And due to inflationary pressures, fierce competition from high-end spirits, and the continued proliferation of ready-to-drinks, the market is also expected to decline in 2023”. This is according to previews of “The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast” from the publisher of “Wine Spectator”, to be released in July. This points out that although the industry has been hit hard in recent years by the pandemic, tariffs and supply chain issues, wines priced at $15 or more per bottle have bucked the downward trend and continue to outperform less expensive brands.
Prosecco La Marca by Gallo is the top brand for sales in the $15-plus per bottle range, both in terms of volume and value, while Meiomi by Constellation Brands is the top-selling premium-plus U.S. wine, according to the Impact Databank report. Double-digit increases were recorded in 2022 for California brands $15 and up, Decoy by Duckhorn and Bread & Butter, as well as New Zealand’s Whitehaven. But according to Impact Databank, other high-end brands above the 500,000-case threshold that posted double-digit increases last year were California’s Daou and Sonoma-Cutrer, France's Gerard Bertrand, and Italy’s Ruffino Prosecco, from the Italian entity Constellation Brands Group. But among the top growing import brands, with volumes over 500,000 9-liter cases, were also Mionetto, at +7.9%, and Santa Margherita, at +3.8%.
The resilience of higher-priced wines, the report further points out, has continued this year. While table wine sales in Circana channels declined 2 percent in dollar value terms in the calendar year ended May 21, wines priced above $15 per 750 ml grew by 2% in retail. “But overall, after rising steadily from 1994 to 2011, per capita wine consumption by adults in the U.S. declined last year for the 10th time in the past 11 years”, points out Juan Banaag, director of Research at M. Shanken Communications, “with the only exception being 2020, when the market benefited from a pandemic-induced boost in consumption at home. According to the Impact Databank report, per capita consumption is expected to decline again this year. But from a broader perspective, over time, wine market volumes have more than doubled over the past four decades, while the total dollar value of the industry has nearly quadrupled over the past 30 years”.

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