Technology has taken center stage in the wine industry over the past three years, helping businesses improve internal processes but also reach a consumer confined by pandemic-related restrictions to working from home.
The direct-to-consumer market remains a small but vital slice of total U.S. wine sales and a source of invaluable consumer engagement with less of the competitive pressure of the total beverage alcohol market. DtC shipments in September were flat by value and down 5% by volume, while on-premise sales provided the majority of growth for U.S. wine overall.
There were few changes in the annual ranking of the top US wine distributors as the largest companies strengthened their hold of the three-tier market. Direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipments fell by both value and volume in August while winery recruiting remained strong.
Consumer demand remains lower than expected amid rising economic concern and inflation. Winery recruiting and total sales stayed strong as direct-to-consumer shipments declined in both value and volume.
Wine on-premise sales have rallied but the sector remains very different than it was three years ago as ongoing and new challenges imperil further growth. Total U.S. sales in June grew 12% even as winery direct-to-consumer shipments fell in both value and volume compared to last year.
The domestic and global wine markets continue to recover based on sales of higher-priced wines yet ongoing disruptions and inflation could slow that growth. Winery recruiting remains strong, as direct-to-consumer shipment value grew by 8% and sales of domestic wine grew by 9%.
One of America’s most popular red winegrapes was a pandemic winner thanks to direct-to-consumer shipments (DtC) and premiumization, but costs and supply challenges could limit future growth. Total DtC shipment value fell 3% in April while the entire U.S. wine market grew 19% to $80 billion.
As the packaging trends of the pandemic ebb, glass sales increase with premiumization while a demographic shift is sustaining the growth of smaller, alternative packaging. Winery recruiting and import wine sales also showed strong growth in the latest Wine Industry Metrics.
Total U.S. wine sales, winery direct-to-consumer shipments and winery recruiting all continue to post positive gains while the grape market remains active despite worsening challenges from inflation, global turmoil and the pandemic.