Massachusetts Beverage Business



Times are still tough but Americans will not be denied their wine. A still-fragile economy continued its recovery as the wine industry maintained its upswing to mark the 18th consecutive year of growth. Consumer confidence and innovation by producers contributed to these gains. New varietals such as sweet reds and higher end blends have engaged consumers. According to the Beverage Information Group’s recently released 2O12 Wine Handbook, wine consumption gained 3% to reach 312.4 million 9-liter cases in 2O11. Domestic wines continued to outpace imports. The US has a reputation of being a better value than imports so wines from California, Oregon and Washington fared particularly well. Imports did see some pockets of success, namely wines from Italy, Argentina and Spain. Millennial consumers are also helping the imported category due to their interest in lesser known varietals and willingness to experiment. High-end varietals saw a significant boost. With more confidence in the recovering economy, consumers are dining out more where higher priced offerings are in demand. Total wine dollar sales grew to $27.8 billion last year, with on-premise accounting for 43.8% – a 2.8% increase from 2O1O. “As consumers discover new varietals, regions and price points, overall wine consumption is expected to continue to increase over the next five years,” according to Adam Rogers, senior research analyst for the Beverage Information Group based in Norwalk, Connecticut. “The wine industry is predicted to reach 317.3 million cases by 2O12.”

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