Log In / Join Now

U.S. Wine Consumption Sets Another New Record

Larger labels lead growth in sales to 270 million cases in 2004

Posted: October 3, 2005

Americans are drinking more wine than ever these days. The United States' total wine consumption increased more than 4 percent last year to 270 million cases, according to the just-released 2005 edition of The U.S. Wine Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast. The volume gain in 2004 represents the 11th straight annual increase.

Healthy growth is expected again this year, and consumption is projected to expand to nearly 325 million cases by 2015, according to the 600-page report. Increases in the number of drinkers are expected to account for most of that expansion. Members of the "baby boomlet" began reaching legal drinking age in the mid-1990s, adding about 60 million potential new wine drinkers. By the end of this decade, these consumers will be in their 30s, the prime target for wine marketers.

Twenty-eight wine brands accounted for significantly more than half of total consumption; each of them sold at least 2 million cases in the United States in 2004. The fastest-growing segment overall was comprised of brands selling between 500,000 and 1 million cases each. A total of 41 of those brands combined for a 9 percent increase in volume last year, according to Impact Databank, which is owned by M. Shanken Communications, the parent company of Wine Spectator.

Just three brands--Yellow Tail, Franzia and Beringer--combined for a net gain of nearly 5 million cases in 2004, a 14 percent increase collectively. This year, the same three brands are again expected to lead the market in net gains of cases sold.

Overall, a total of around 7,000 wine brands are sold in the United States, and 96 percent of them sell less than 100,000 cases. Combined, those smaller brands made up 13 percent of total wine consumption last year.


The annual U.S. Wine Market report is the country's oldest wine-marketing study, analyzing key trends for the past 30 years. Containing more than 400 tables, graphs and maps, this expanded edition consists of results through 2004 and the first look at 2005 data by brand, origin and grape type. The study also provides volume data for 500 brands since 1980, rankings of the top 100 wine brands and the top 25 marketers and much more.

For more information about The U.S. Wine Market, priced at $895, and other Impact Databank reports on beer, distilled spirits and the global drinks market, contact Elisa Trapani 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 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, visit www.impactdatabank.com/usreports.

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.