Friday, August 27, 2010

Wine consumption on the rise in the U.S.

In the midst of our country's economic recession, consumers have cut back on spending, but wine does not seem to be one of those cut backs. "The 2010 Wine Handbook" (which delivers analysis on wine consumption, consumer drinking preferences, and economic/demographic data) reports that overall wine consumption in the U.S. rose 0.8% to 297.0 million 9-liter cases.

The increase is obviously not a large amount, but in an economy where many industries are just trying to stay afloat, ANY increase is eye-catching. 2009 is not the only year that wine sales have increased in the U.S.; last year was the 16th consecutive year of growing wine sales. "The 2010 Wine Handbook" also reports that domestic wines are outselling imported wines. Domestic wine sales are up 1.8% to 222.7 million cases while imports dropped 2.2% to 74.3 million cases.

Eric Schmidt, Manager of Information Services for the Beverage Information Group (the publishers of "The 2010 Wine Handbook") predicts, "As the country recovers from the recessionary environment, the wine industry continues to look positive. We expect to see wine consumption increase to 310.7 million cases by 2014."

As a winery owner, how has the recession affected your business? Have your sales increased as "The 2010 Wine Handbook" reports? As an ag entrepreneur, has this article sparked your interest in adding wine to your product offerings (for example, a cheesemaker may partner with a winery to sell wine and cheese pairings)?

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