Industry

US becomes the world's leading still light wine market

By Martin Crummy June 14, 2012
the drinks business
The US overtook Italy in 2011 to become the largest single still light wine market, according to the IWSR.

Still light wine sales in the US reached 300.6m cases in 2011, a rise of 4.2% over 2010. Meanwhile, the Italian market declined by 1.2% to 297.3m cases. France also continued its long-term decline, falling by 0.8% to 271.6m cases.

In the US, local wines increased by 5.1% to 221m cases, whereas imports increased by 1.9% to 82.1m cases. Within that, demand for moscato and sweet red wines soared in 2011.

The IWSR report added that Old World wines in general have done well with rises for Italy (+9.1%), France (+5.4%) and Spain (+8.7%).

Australian wines (-7%) continue to struggle in face of a raft of local brands priced at a similar level and as consumers experiment with other brands from other countries.

The IWSR forecasts that the US still light wine market will reach 322m cases by 2015, with an estimated 3.5m Americans reaching legal drinking age annually, while there is also more frequent usage and wider geographic take-up.

As predicted by the drinks business the US is set to lead the top 10 still wine consuming countries in 2014.