Monday, June 9, 2008


Similar to spirits, Americans are still buying wine but just cutting back on how much they spend. Decanter reports that dollar sales growth is expected to slow, but many segments of the wine business remain strong.

Bill Leigon, president of Hahn Family Wines, told the publication that sales are weak, but the weakness is hidden as consumers trade down in price. He said Costco retail sales were up 32% and Wal-Mart sales were up as well.

Leigon told Decanter that the under $15 retail sales will "carry the day."

The luxury segment ($15-20) showed the biggest increase in dollar sales, followed by super luxury ($20 and up) and super-premium ($8-11).

Of all wine categories, the fastest-growing is the cask, or 'premium box' segment, with sales up 33.9% over the past year. Perceived value and eco-friendly packaging are reportedly driving the category.

As we've said before, the weak dollar continues to hurt imports. According to the article, the big three importers (Italy, Australia and France) are declining, while Chilean, Spanish, New Zealand, Argentinean and South African imports have seen increased sales.

Wine & Spirits Daily