The strong growth of the global wine market in the latter half of the 21st century's first decade is set to rise slightly in 2009, despite the economic downturn.

A report by Mintel, released late last year, has forecast a slight lift in the wine market in 2009, on the back of a 3.2% decline during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. The wine market has grown by 20% from 2004 to 2009, the report notes, with the market forecast to stabilise and increase by 2.1% in 2009.

"Despite the recent decline, the future of the wine market looks bright, at least for moderately priced segments," said Mintel's senior food and drink analyst, Sarah Theodore. "Value wines have helped consumers rethink their perceptions about wine. Domestic wines have proven to be somewhat recession-proof as unpretentious, economy-priced wines are fuelling recent sales.

"As wine finds its way out of the recession, it might be taking on a new form," Theodore continued. "The down economy has given impetus to boxed wine. Marketers have an opportunity right now to really play up the benefits of this type of packaging and finally eliminate its 'cheap' image."