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Global Drinks Report: Wine Market Stagnates

The recession takes a toll as Europe drinks less wine; U.S consumption increases, however

Posted: April 6, 2009

After five straight annual gains earlier this decade, the global wine market failed to register any growth for the third consecutive year in 2008, as declines in the mature wine nations of western Europe negated any gains in emerging markets. The global financial crisis certainly didn't help. World wine consumption is projected to have fallen 1 percent in 2008, to 2.65 billion 9-liter cases, according to the upcoming The Global Drinks Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast, 2008 Edition. The worldwide recession is expected to negatively impact the global alcoholic beverage industry well into 2009 and possibly 2010.

In spite of the financial crisis, wine consumption in the United States registered its 15th consecutive annual gain last year, albeit at its slowest rate (just 1.5 percent) since 2001, the last time the U.S. economy suffered a recession. Wine sales actually outpaced both beer and distilled spirits in the U.S. in 2008, which is in contrast to the global trend, where beer and spirits consumption have outperformed wine in each of the past three years, primarily due to growth in China, Russia and India, according to Impact Databank, which is owned by M. Shanken Communications, the parent company of Wine Spectator.

Wine is unique in the sense that the industry is significantly less brand-dependent than both beer and spirits. The world's 25 largest-selling wine brands comprised less than 8 percent of the global market last year, illustrating the extremely fragmented nature of the world wine industry. Beer and spirits, on the other hand, derived considerable portions of their sales from the 25 largest-selling brands in each category (27 percent and 18 percent, respectively), according to the report. Particularly with wine, Americans (and Brits, to an extent) tend to be more brand-conscious than their counterparts in France, Italy and other major wine-consuming nations.


The annual Global Drinks Market analyzes the latest trends in the world beverage alcohol industry. Containing more than 600 tables, color graphs and maps, the expanded 2008 edition provides extensive analysis of the global markets for wine, spirits and beer. The report provides a first look at 2008 data by brand, country and type, and offers comprehensive forecasts through 2010. The current edition is also available on CD in pdf format.

For more information about The Global Drinks Market, priced at $3,475 for the printed report and $3,975 for the CD version, as well as other Impact Databank reports on the U.S. wine, spirits and beer industries, contact Elisa Trapani at M. Shanken Communications, 387 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 10016; by phone at (212) 684-4224, ext. 339; by fax at (212) 779-3366; or by e-mail at etrapani@mshanken.com. For a comprehensive table of contents and a detailed listing of tables and charts, go to www.impactdatabank.com/globaltoc. To print an order form, click here.

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