Wine sales in the US have rebounded from a decline at the height of the financial crisis and are set to grow steadily, according to new research.

Wine sales by volume in the US slipped by 3% in 2008, as the financial crisis began to filter down into the economy at large.

But, sales are expected to recover to 2% growth in 2009, research group Mintel said late yesterday (23 November).

"Despite the recent decline, the future of the wine market looks bright, at least for moderately priced segments," said Sarah Theodore, Mintel senior food and drink analyst.

"Domestic wines have proven to be somewhat recession-proof as unpretentious, economy-priced wines are fuelling recent sales."

Mintel's 2009 growth forecast is below growth of 20% between 2004 and 2009.

There will be new opportunities for boxed wine as consumers seek better value and drink more at home. "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," said Theodore.

However, there remains an image problem with boxed wine. Nearly one in five respondents to a Mintel survey indicated they were status-conscious when it comes to drinking boxed wine, and would be reluctant to serve it to friends at home.