Three Wine Trends to Uncork Growth This Year

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Three Wine Trends to Uncork Growth This Year

02/15/2018
Wine bottles

NEW YORK — Wine may not be the first beverage consumers may think about when it comes to the convenience channel, but retailers should look to the alcoholic beverage segment for growth opportunities.  

According to Nielsen, wine brings with it diversity — ranging from varieties, price tiers, and packaging. Despite the range of wine preferences among legal-aged Americans (age 21 and older), three areas within the wine category have continued to grow significantly in recent years with no signs of a slowdown any time soon.

This year, alternative packaging, rosé, and prosecco should remain top of mind for wine producers and distributors, as well as retailers, as three areas of high growth sub-segments within wine, the research company said.

Alternative Packaging

Wine package design has become a key purchase driver. The market saw early growth of canned wines in 2016; however, glass bottles still account for the lions' share of total wine sales at nearly 73 percent.

That being said, according to Nielsen, alternative wine packaging like canned wine, premium boxed wine, and Tetra Paks are gaining attention and saw tremendous dollar growth over the last year.

In a recent Nielsen omnibus survey, wine drinkers said they prefer canned and Tetra Pak wine at outdoor events like picnics, festivals and barbeques, while boxed wine is consumed with relaxation and everyday-convenience in mind.

Rosé Sales

As Nielsen pointed out, rosé wine has grown in popularity among wine drinkers in the past several years. While consumers purchase this varietal throughout the year, sales in U.S. off-premise channels highly skew to summer months and peaked during the week of July 4 in 2017.

In addition, rosé buyers are expanding total wine sales. Consumers are adding rosé to their carts as an addition to other wine varieties they also purchase. For example, rosé shoppers are increasingly adding more white wines, such as chardonnay and white zinfandel, to their baskets compared to a year ago.

Prosecco on the Rise

Sparkling wine is one of the top wine varietals during the holiday season, according to Nielsen, and though the season has passed, there's plenty of growth opportunity for prosecco in particular. Prosecco accounts for nearly 20 percent of the total sparkling wine category, with dollars rising 21.1 percent in the past year.

Price is key when it comes to prosecco; more than 30 percent of sparkling wine purchases are based on price tiers, and prosecco is well positioned as a mid-tier price offering within sparkling wine. More than one third of prosecco dollars come from the mid-tier price range — between $13-$14 per glass bottle — and this price tier within prosecco has grown nearly 30 percent in dollars in the last year, Nielsen explained.

"For wine retailers and manufacturers, we expect to continue seeing trends like alternative packaging, rosé and prosecco continue to capture new share and drive dollar growth," the company said. "Understanding what's driving the growth of these segments, as well as consumer preferences, is critical for portfolio evaluation and identifying ongoing growth opportunities."

Alternative Packaging Growth in Wine
Graph showing rose sales in wine
Mid-tier bottles of Prosecco are growing in sales