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Positive, Slower Growth in US Consumption

Posted: Friday, 12 August 2011 16:42

Positive, Slower Growth in US Consumption

August 12: Just as the news of the US Credit Rating being downgraded by S & P for the first time from AAA to AA+ hit the stands, creating panic not only in the US but throughout the world including India, even though the downgrade has mostly symbolic significance, the 2011 Wine Handbook was being released according to which, ‘as the US economy slowly recovers, the wine industry is regaining its momentum to mark the 17th consecutive year of case gains’

This positive direction has been directly attributed to the improving economy and the resulting increase in consumer confidence.  Consumers are beginning to spend again and competition in the marketplace is fierce says the Press Release.  According to the Handbook released by the Beverage Information Group recently overall wine consumption rose 2.1% to 303 million cases of 9-liters, in 2010. (For a perspective, Indian consumed 1.5 million cases including the cheap wines and imports.)

The weakening dollar continues to bode well for the US wine exports. Imports continue to lag behind the sale of domestic wines. While sales of domestic wines increased by 3.0% to 229.4 million cases, imported wines lost 0.9% to 73.6 million cases.   While the aggressive marketing by the Italians has increased their share, Australian wines took a beating with a fall of 12.5%, ostensibly because of continuous erosion of the quality image and continuous glut. US is the leading consumer of wine even though not in per capita consumption due to higher population.

It might be a painful discovery by the Handbook that consumers are slowly returning to dining out, when the economy may suffering a setback in the short term, at least, in terms of the perception of the finance experts and thus making people hold back once more even while the effects of recession have not been erased fully yet. Total wine market had grown by 2.5% to around $27 billion last year with on-trade share being 44%.

"The future of the wine industry looks bright," says Eric Schmidt, Manager of Information Services for the Beverage Information Group based in Connecticut”.  Overall wine consumption is expected to increase over the next five years to around 322 million cases, according to him.

It is too early to tell whether the recent downgrade will put brakes on the growth rate in the consumption of wine in the US. But for the sake of wine industry, one would like to see Americans continue to drink more wine, even in the case of sorrow just as they do in India, albeit with whisky.

The 2011 Wine Handbook claims to be a leading source for U.S. wine sales and consumption trends. It includes wine consumption analysis; the top 50 metro markets; supplier performance; advertising expenditures; consumer drinking preferences; and economic/demographic data.

Following are some US consumption articles.


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