USA emerges as world leader in wine consumption

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America will drive the world demand for wine right through to 2018, as countries like China, France and Italy witness a slowdown, according to a recent study by the Vinexpo and International Wine and Spirit Research, reports Kanika Dhawan. Wine consumption in the US is estimated to increase by 11% with 378 million nine-litre cases between 2014 and 2018, while China’s wine market will drop from 69% to 25% with 181 million cases.

The slowdown in China is prompted by slow economic growth accompanied by a government crackdown on gift-giving. With sparkling and rosé wines as the main drivers of the global wine market, the growth momentum in world still-wine consumption is shifting back to the US. So until 2018, America is set to reign as the largest wine-consuming nation, way ahead of France, Italy, Germany and China including Hong Kong.

Vinexpo CEO, Guillaume Deglise was quoted in an interview in London on January 20, as saying, “We see that the slowdown of China has been confirmed after two or three years of very impressive growth. The U.S. market is taking the lead in terms of the global market.”

According to the study, the other countries that are a part of the world’s top 10 wine-consuming nations by volume include the UK, Argentina, Russia, Spain and Australia.
In terms of wine consumption per head, Italy, France, Switzerland and Portugal will lag behind while Austria and Greece witness a rise.

Overall, by 2018, the global consumption of still wine will reach 2.51 billion cases. With a 3.5% rise from 2013, the Asia-Pacific region has upped its share to 12% from 11%, as per the study. Europe will make up for 61 % of still wine consumption in 2018 with the Americas at 24 % and Africa and the Middle East at 3% respectively.

When asked about China’s wine slump, Deglise said that there would still be some growth from China, but not in the premium side of the business.

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