Demand for bottled wine is on the up

Demand for bottled wine is on the up

French and Italian wines have gained most from an increase in demand from US consumers for bottled wine, a new report has said.

Bottled wine imports to the US grew by 8% in the first quarter of the year, with France and Italy accounting for more than half of the 1.3m-case increase, according to Rabobank's latest report on the global wine industry, released yesterday (22 July). Spain (17%), Portugal (38%) and South Africa (10%) also experienced strong growth, but from a much smaller base, the report said.

Bulk wine imports to the US dropped by 17% in the same period and Rabobank said the fall could mark “the start of a shift in trends” towards bottled wine in the country.

The report also said the outlook for foreign wine makers in Brazil remained positive despite a slowdown in sales and a currency depreciation.

“The market environment (in Brazil) is evolving rapidly,” Rabobank analyst Stephen Rannekleiv said. “Large retailers are reviewing their management of the wine category by eliminating slower-rotating labels, resulting in an increased opportunity for bigger brands.”

Rannekleiv also said there has been an increase in the direct-to-consumer market, while a new tax environment “has increased transparency in the import and distribution category, thereby encouraging greater foreign and domestic investment”.

A Rabobank report in November called Brazil one of four “hidden gems” where wine makers can find fresh growth.