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04.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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archivedOnWineReport

A NATION of WINEBUYERS

WINE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A PLACE in the homes of most Americans. A new survey from The Harris Poll finds that 58% of American are wine buyers while 39% say they never buy a bottle of wine. The findings are the result of an online poll of 1475 US adults conducted during December of 2OO8. Additionally those who are wine drinkers are buying wine slightly more frequently than they were five years ago. In 2OO4, almost three-quarters of wine drinkers bought a bottle of wine once a month or less often while 3% bought one twice a week or more often. There has been a small shift as two-thirds of wine drinkers are buying a bottle once a month or less often while 8% are buying one twice a week or more often. When it comes to drinking wine, just over half of wine drinkers say they drink wine once a month or less often while 18% drink two or three times a month, 7% drink once a week and one in five drink twice a week or more often.

The poll also found that more Americans are consuming wines from Australia, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa, and less people are drinking French and Italian wines. However, nine out of ten American wine buyers and drinkers drink or buy wine from the United States, with almost the same number as in 2OO4. Next on the list of countries where people do buy or drink wine from are: Italy (37%, down from 44%); Australia (37%, up from 32%); France (34%, down from 4O%); Germany (22%, almost unchanged from 23%); Spain (22% and new this year); and Chile (2O%, up from 16%). The survey has some good news for wine producing countries – many people who aren’t buying wines from other countries right now are willing to consider purchasing them. For example, while just 37% of American wine drinkers are buying Italian wines, 61% would consider buying them. For some of the countries further down on the current wine buying list, this is even better news. People may not be drinking wine from the lesser known wine producing countries, but more would consider it. The list includes: Turkey – 1% currently buying/drinking; 18% would consider; Poland – 1% buying/drinking, 19% would consider; Israel – 4% buying/drinking, 24% would consider; Greece – 4% buying/drinking, 28% would consider; Portugal – 8% buying/drinking, 32% would consider, and New Zealand – 12% buying/drinking, 33% would consider. These wine producing countries, with a little more marketing, need to better showcase the types of wines they offer. In these days of belt-tightening, if they can make a case for being more affordable than wines from other countries, that might also help spur their sales. One thing that has remained consistent in the past four years is the amount of money that American wine buyers are spending. Just over one-quarter of wine buyers spent less than $1O on their last bottle while three in ten spent between $1O and $14. Just under one-quarter spent between $15 and $19 on their last bottle while one in five spent over $2O. Over one-third of wine buyers say they have spent $3O or more on a bottle of wine.

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