The US saw an increase in Champagne imports during 2015

The US saw an increase in Champagne imports during 2015

Total wine imports to the US grew 5% by volumes and 2% by value in 2015 as premiumisation trends drove the category, a new study has said.

According to Rabobank's Wine Quarterly Q2 2016 report, bottled wines from "more premium" suppliers, such as Italy, France and New Zealand continued to grow. Meanwhile bulk wine imports were "generally soft - down 4% year-on-year". 

Sparkling wine imports to the US leapt 14% by volume and 13% by value during 2015. Growth was driven by Prosecco and Champagne - up 17% and 13% respectively. Rabobank also noted that growing interest in sparkling wines was driving imports from Spain (9%), Germany (32%) and South Africa (50%), however, Germany and South Africa were growing from a much smaller base, the report said.

The US also saw vermouth imports rise by 23% in volume terms and 14% by value. Rabobank said there is room for more brands to enter the US market as the category enjoys a connection with cocktails. 

"Italy and France contine to dominate the category, though imports from alternative regions are also showing strong growth," the report stated. "In spite of the fact that volume growth has outpaced value growth to date, we do believe that this is a segment that could be ripe for the introduction of more premium brands, given its relationship with the cocktail category, which has seen strong premiumisation trends."

What you need to know about importing bottled alcohol into the US - TTB