Bubbly on the Rise: US Imports of Sparkling Wine Are Up
Nearly time to toast the New Year with a glass of champagne from – where else? – France’s Champagne region … or perhaps you prefer a crémant de Bourgogne, or cava from Spain, or prosecco from Italy? If so, you’re part of a trend.
Sparkling wine sales in the US were up 10% this year through mid-October, reports Nielsen. That’s just the start of the fourth quarter and peak season for popping a cork in celebration.
Not only are US consumers buying more sparkling wines, they are buying more of more varieties of sparkling wine. While champagne remains the top choice of US consumers, accounting for 20% of sales in this category, its sales grew just 8%. Sales of prosecco, now with a 14% share of sparkling wine sales, grew 36% over the same period.
As our trade data shows, rising demand is lifting US imports of sparkling wine:
Our bill of lading data also provides evidence of US consumers’ more varied tastes. Ranked by volume, JF Hillebrand, leading logistics specialist in wines, tops the list of shippers of sparkling wines to the US. Second is Comercial Grupo Freixenet S.A., source for cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. Casa Vinicola Zonin S.P.A. makes Zonin Prosecco. Veuve Ambal specializes in sparkling Burgundies – crémants de Bourgogne. Henkell & Co., purveyors of German sparkling wines, round out the top five.
Note that, had the ranking been based on the calculated value rather than volume of shipments, shippers of champagne would have risen to the top. Part of the appeal of sparkling wines such as prosecco is that they are not as pricey as champagne. The average price of a bottle of prosecco runs $12 versus $52 for a bottle of champagne, says Neilsen – clearly more bubbles for the buck. Still tradition may trump thrift: Champagne typically rolls up 36% of annual sales in the spike that occurs in the last seven weeks of the year.
However you choose to welcome the New Year, may it be a happy and healthy one for you and those dear to you.
Date posted: December 30, 2015