Wine by the glass has increased in popularity

Wine by the glass has increased in popularity

On-trade consumers in the US are downgrading from bottles to a single serve as economic pressures continue to bite, a new study has claimed.

The number of wine bottles ordered in restaurants and bars declined by 13% last year compared to 2011, according to analysis released by GuestMetrics today (22 January). Over the same period, the number of servings by the glass sold rose by 4%.

“Given the large difference between the price, we believe this shift was driven by a consumer base that is still feeling pressure from a sluggish economic recovery, not to mention the unusually high level of uncertainty towards the end of the year with spectre of the 'Fiscal Cliff',” GuestMetrics CEO Bill Pecoriello said.

The analysis, based on a database of point-of-sale transactions, also showed the price of a wine bottle increased by 9% last year, compared to a 3% rise for a glass.

Wine bottles in the year accounted for 41% of total wine sales, the figure showed.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc remained the top on-trade sellers last year. However, the varietals were the biggest losers in market share compared to 2011, according to GuestMetrics. The biggest gains were made by Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Malbec. 

Last week, a report said this year will see record levels of M&A in the US wine trade, while high grape prices will affect bottom lines.