Ah 2018, you were…a year. For the wine industry in America, it was a pretty interesting year actually. Let’s take a look at how our favorite grape-based beverage did these past 12 months.
In 2018, we saw the first nudge toward negative growth in off-premise sales since 1993, according to the annual Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry report. Over the course of the year, there was quite a large decline in the number of cases sold, falling from 164 million down to 162 million. Sure, this doesn’t seem like a lot at first but if you visualize 2 million cases of wine, well, that’s quite a bit.
On the other hand, direct to consumer shipping saw an increase of $3 billion which is about 12% growth over the previous year. What does this mean? People are investing in things like wine boxes and subscriptions or they already know what they like and are ordering it directly, rather than purchasing from a shop.
Although millennials were predicted to become mass consumers of the wine industry, the consumption by that age group has remained stable for the last three years. The only group that saw a rise in wine sales in 2018 was the Gen Xers, which has been the case since 2014. It seems that low financial capacity and interest in other beverages like craft beer and spirits is keeping millennial interest in wine at a lower rate than originally thought.
The rise in American wines was definitely visible and mostly due to states like Oregon and Washington continuing to produce high-quality bottles of the noble grape-based varietals like Pinot Noir. Surveys showed that taste is the number one criteria for an American wine consumer’s purchase followed by price.
As for 2019, experts say that big shifts will continue to happen as climates change, which directly affects how grapes are grown. The wineries that produce using more innovative, sustainable methods are the ones that will see success grow. California will need some time to rebuild from all of the wildfires in 2018 which will allow for other states to rise up through the ranks.
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