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Premium Wines Driving U.S. Growth As Lower End Slips: Nielsen

May 17, 2012

U.S. off-premise wine sales rose 3.7% to $2.5 billion in Nielsen channels during the 13 weeks through April 28. Moscato, up 38%, and sweet red blends, up 144%, continued to be the fastest-growing segments over the period, but Sauvignon Blanc (+12%), Malbec (+16%), Pinot Noir (+8%), Pinot Grigio (+9%) and Rosé (+27%) styles also exhibited healthy gains. Riesling (-4%), Merlot (-5%) and Syrah (-14%) all declined during the period.

Overall, domestic table wines were up 5.2% to $1.8 billion over the last three months, while imports were flat at $671 million. (Italy, Argentina and New Zealand continued growing while Australia, Chile and Germany showed significant declines).

The premium three-liter boxed wine category continued to surge during the period (+18%), and in general, premium wines remained the driving force in the market. The below-$8.99 area was tepid over the last three months, but growth remained solid for wines above that price range, with the $9-$11.99 segment up 10.2%, the $12-$14.99 segment up 8.3%, the $15-$19.99 segment up 12% and the $20 and above segment leading the way with 13.7% growth.

 

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