2014 California Wine Sales Grow 4.4%..

2014 California Wine Sales Grow 4.4% by Volume and 6.7% by Value in the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO — California wine shipments in the U.S. were 225 million cases in 2014, up 4.4% from the previous year, with an estimated retail value of $24.6 billion, up 6.7%. California wine sales to all markets, both domestic and international, increased 3.7% by volume to 269 million cases in 2014.

“California has had three excellent harvests in both quantity and quality in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and these vintages are receiving global recognition,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO.

“The premium wine segment — $10 and above — is strong and with excellent prospects for continued growth over the next few years,” said wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside. “The value-priced wine segment has been shrinking because consumers are buying more expensive wine and because of competition from the increasing number of alcohol beverage offerings.”

Stats at a Glance

  • California wine sales in the U.S. grew 6.7% in value and 4.4% in volume in 2014
  • Estimated retail value of 2014 California wine sales in the U.S. was $24.6 billion
  • Total California wine sales (in U.S. and exports) grew 3.7 percent in volume
  • 2014 represents the 22nd consecutive year of growth for all wine sales in the U.S.
  • The U.S. has been the world’s largest wine market since 2010

Fredrikson explained that value-priced wines made up 75% of California table wine volume in 2014 while premium wines accounted for 25% of wine volume but almost half (47%) of winery revenues.

“With beverage alcohol production permits exploding by 68% in six years to 14,700 in the U.S., there is enormous competition in the market with a large number of wine, beer and spirits offerings that continue to squeeze distribution channels. Wineries are making direct-to-consumer sales, now legal in 42 states and the District of Columbia, through tasting rooms, wine clubs, online marketing and other direct sales channels, reaching consumers through the Internet, mobile apps and social media. Premium keg wines have also been a positive development for wine, providing draft wine at restaurants and other on-premise outlets,” he said.

Because of the consumer transition to higher value wines, dollar sales grew faster than purchase volumes in 2014, according to Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into consumer preferences and purchases In U.S. food stores, total wine volume sales grew 1% while total revenues increased 4%.

“The number of brick and mortar retail outlets once again increased this year,” said Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area. “And many outlets have developed sophisticated websites to support the marketing and sales of its wines.”

According to Nielsen, in measured U.S. off-premise channels, the most popular wine types by volume were Chardonnay (19% share), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%), Red Blends/Sweet Reds (10%), Pinot Grigio (9%) Merlot (8%), followed by Moscato (6%), Pinot Noir
(5%), White Zinfandel (5%), and Sauvignon Blanc
(4%). Red blends accounted for the strongest volume gains, along with Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The U.S. Wine Market
Wine shipments to the U.S. from all production sources—California, other states and foreign producers—grew 1% to 375 million cases with an estimated retail value of $37.6 billion. This represents 22 consecutive years of volume growth. The U.S. has been the largest wine consuming nation in the world since 2010. California’s 225 million cases shipped within the U.S. in 2014 represent a 60% share of the U.S. wine market.

Sparkling Wine and Champagne
Shipments of sparkling wine and champagne to the U.S. reached 19.7 million cases in 2014, up 8% over the previous year. The sparkling wine and champagne category has grown with the overall U.S. wine market, returning to peak sales levels of three decades ago.

U.S. Wine Exports
U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, reached $1.5 billion in winery revenues in 2014. Volume shipments were 443 million liters or 49.3 million cases. The European Union was the top destination for U.S. wine exports, accounting for $518 million; followed by Canada, $487 million; Japan, $101 million; China, $71 million; Hong Kong, $69 million; Mexico, $24 million; South Korea, $22 million.

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