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Global Wine Consumption Slows Further in 2002

United Kingdom sees fastest growth; Australia surpasses France for first time in exports to United States.

Posted: April 16, 2003

After experiencing only a 0.4 percent gain in 2001, the global wine market is estimated to have increased a mere 0.2 percent in 2002, to 2.45 billion cases, according to a new report, the 2002 edition of The Global Drinks Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast, which will be released later this month. Global wine consumption has been fairly stable over the past decade, and is expected to remain at this level for the next five to 10 years.

France and Italy continue to lead the world in terms of wine production and consumption, but both countries have seen steady erosion of their global market share. Impact Databank projects that by 2010, wine consumption in France and Italy combined will make up just above 25 percent of global consumption -- down from nearly 50 percent in 1975.

On the other hand, the U.K. market is estimated to have grown 7 percent in 2002, the fastest rate of all major wine-consuming countries. Consumption in the United States increased by 3 percent, according to the 700-page report from Impact Databank, which is owned by M. Shanken Communications, the parent company of Wine Spectator.

Australian exports far outpaced the global market once again in 2002, as shipments to the United Kingdom increased by 18 percent and to the United States by 53 percent. France is still the leading source by volume of wine consumed in the United Kingdom, but Australian wines are gaining fast. In the United States, Australia surpassed France for the first time ever in 2002, becoming the second-largest source of imported table wine, behind only Italy.

Chilean and South African wines continue to make inroads. Chile is now the world's fifth-largest wine exporter, following Italy, France, Spain and Australia, while South African exports have tripled since 1995.

Sales of Champagne have gradually recovered from the "millennium effect," adding to a 3 percent gain in 2001 with another 10 percent increase in 2002. But table wine sales will grow only modestly in the near future, according to Impact Databank, while vermouth and other fortified wines are projected to continue their long-term declines.

Gallo's E & J Wine Cellars continues to be the world's best-selling brand, at 25 million cases annually. Wine is unique in the sense that the top 25 brands combined represent less than 8 percent of the global market, illustrating the extremely fragmented nature of the world wine industry. Beer and distilled spirits, on the other hand, derive a considerable portion of their sales from the top 25 brands in each category (29 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

For more information about The Global Drinks Market, priced at $2,975, and other Impact Databank reports on the U.S. wine, spirits and beer industries, contact Joshua Opperman at M. Shanken Communications, 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016; by phone at (212) 684-4224, Ext. 339; by fax at (212) 779-3366; or by e-mail at jopperman@mshanken.com.

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Read more of Impact Databank's recent research on the wine market:

  • Nov. 14, 2002
    Smaller Brands Lead Growth in U.S. Table Wine Consumption

  • Aug. 13, 2002
    Italian Pinot Grigio Now the No. 1 Imported Wine Type in U.S.

  • June 19, 2002
    U.S. Wine Consumption Up 1 Percent Last Year
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