NEW YORK – Wine sales have been growing, with total U.S. wine sales topping $32 billion in 2017, and a healthy sales projection of more than 6% annually through 2022 to hit $43 billion, Marketing Daily reports. Millennials and Gen Xers are driving this upward trend as their share of wine consumption soared by 8%, making them the largest consumer group in the wine market, according to L.E.K. Consulting.
Off-premises consumption of wine has risen, accounting for more than 80% of overall wine drinking—a much higher rate than for distilled spirits and beer, L.E.K. Consulting reports. Sales of fancy wine—the fine and premium wines—grew around 8% annually since 2012 and should reach $25 billion by 2022.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales also are increasing, with shipments to customers from wineries closing in on $3.1 billion last year. The DTC market is anticipated to experience around 11% growth annually to hit $5.2 billion by 2022. Smaller wineries are pushing the DTC trend, which also has created packaging innovations such as canned, single-serve and boxed wine.
L.E.K.’s research shows that wine sales continued to grow even during the 2007–2008 recession, but new immigration policies could affect wine production by contributing to the industry’s labor shortage. Also, the industry continues to consolidate, with about a dozen suppliers in control of approximately 80% of the U.S. wine market by volume last year.