Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More on wine: some surprises

Don't have time to respond to the comments in the previous post right now -- sorry! -- other than to point out that it is about California wine, and not wine in general; hope to get more involved in that sometime.

In the meantime, here's some more stuff on wine that's interesting, from today's Wine & Spirits Daily:

Is the wine glass half empty or half full? Danny Brager, vp group client director, beverage alcohol at Nielsen, encouraged listeners to be optimistic and focus on the wine industry's growth opportunities rather than its roadblocks during his presentation at the Wine Market Council's 5th Annual US Wine Consumer Trends conference in Dallas.
WINE OUT-GROWS BEER AND SPIRITS. Although the wine industry has had it tough this past year, they posted more growth than beer or spirits. In the 52 weeks to December 12, dollar sales of wine grew 2.6%, beer grew 2% and spirits grew 1.4%. In terms of volume, beer declined -0.6%, while wine and spirits gained 1.2%. The rate of growth slowed for all three categories. Danny noted that consumers trading down and taking advantage of promotions has resulted in the rate of dollar and volume growth being closer together. Unlike beer, wine and spirits pricing is moving down.
The wine industry should be wary of craft beers, which have grown dollar sales 13% in the past 6 months. There is an opportunity for wine and craft beers to battle for certain occasions, particularly among millennilas who don't reserve wine for just "special" occasions. "Crafts are good marketers....we need to make sure we're as intense about telling our story to compete effectively," said Danny. Crafts are also popular among millennial consumers and have a lot of opportunity to grow among that generation.
The beat goes on...

11 comments:

jp said...

As goes Cali wine goes US wine. Ca wine industry revenues for 08approx $20bn and represents over 90% of US wine production

Lew Bryson said...

Production, yes; but this is about total US sales, including imports.

Cooking Lager said...

I'd be interested in your opinion of what image beer and wine have within different social classes and economic groups in the US. In the UK domestic beer has a working class image, and wine a middle class image as an imported product.

jp said...

ok including imports total sales would be about 30 billion with Cali wine representing about 2/3rds of sales

Lew Bryson said...

No argument, jp. My point is three-fold in these two posts: 1st, imported wines (largely of low-priced, but -- to me, and to most critics and drinkers -- quite tasty wines from Australia, Chile, and Argentina) gained strongly in the US market; 2nd, those gains would appear to have been made at least partly at the expense of California wines, particularly the higher-priced "boutiquey" ones (note that the state's seven largest producers' sales were up); and 3rd, that there might be lesson for craft brewers there...not necessarily this year, but it's something to take a look at for the future.

CL, that's an interesting question. I'd like to take a crack at it, maybe in a separate post. It's similar here, but not identical.

Glenn said...

Interesting couple of sets of posts. Not the worlds biggest wine drinker, but I enjoy a glass once in a while. Wife on the other hand enjoys all kinds of wine. What we have been doing lately is exploring the local/regional vineyards we have in NC and VA . They are much smaller in scale then the bigger guys, essentially "craft" wineries? But the wines (at least to my taste buds) are just as good if not a little better then most of the CA stuff I've tried. I'd be curious if the smaller vineyards that have sprung up across the country have also made any dent in the CA wine sales, much like craft brewers have been nibbling away at the mega beer giants.

Drew said...

I have to say the thing that amused me out of this article more than anything else was the assertion that craft brewers are good marketers. ha!

Sure some of them, but its funny to read for the majority of the industry that virtually run on pride of minimal marketing.

Anonymous said...

Virginia has a tremendous wine industry, sadly not well-known outside of the state. With over 150 wineries, most of which grow their own fruit in a climate very suitable for grape production, Virginia produces a wide variety of wines from the most delicate whites to incredibly robust reds.

We travel to VA at least once a year to visit our favorites and explore the new wineries that have opened since our last visit. In a area steeped in the history of the founding of the nation it always makes for a wonderful getaway.

geoffrobinson said...

What does "telling our story" mean in the wine context?

Lew Bryson said...

I would assume things like where the winery is, why it's there, who makes it, how they make it, why they make it that way...things like that.

geoffrobinson said...

I think what they may be missing is that craft beer is gaining because it is a new frontier for us. There is so much to explore in a culinary and enjoyment context.

Is there something craft beer folks are doing that wine folks aren't? Or is it just that beer is several stages behind where wine is in terms of building up a culture?

I would have one recommendation for wineries. Stop just fermenting grapes. Do experiments. Add spices. Do some braggot or something.