Wine consumption in the US decreased by 0.9% in 2019, the first decline in 25 years, according to new figures released by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
Though sparkling wine in the US grew last year by almost 4%, it wasn’t enough to offset the decrease in the large still wine category (-1.5%), which brought total wine down by -0.9%. The volume loss is in part attributed to changing generational habits. Wine represents about 11% of the total beverage alcohol market in the US.
Meanwhile, total beverage alcohol in the US posted volume growth of 0.3% in 2019 (reversing a previous decline), with a value reaching $167 billion (up 2.5% from 2018).
According to IWSR, spirits volume in the US grew by 2.3% last year, led by increases in mezcal (40%), Japanese
whisky (23.1%), Irish whiskey (8.6%), tequila (9.3%), US whiskey (5.5%) and cognac (4%).
Ready-to-drink products are an $8 billion industry in the US, with volume that grew by almost 50% in 2019, thanks in large part to the popularity of hard seltzers brands such as White Claw and Truly.
As noted in the recent IWSR Hard Seltzer Report, hard seltzer volume is currently about 82.5 million nine-litre cases and forecasted to triple by 2023.
With continued competition from other categories, beer once again showed a decline in the US in 2019 (-2.3%). However, craft beer consumption increased last year by 4.1%, and low/no-alcohol beer posted a gain of 6.6%. Imported beer increased 3.1%, while domestic beer dropped -3.6%.
“The beverage alcohol industry in the US continued to innovate in 2019, especially in the ready-to-drink category, as the fight for consumption occasions intensified across all categories, something we fully expect to see in 2020 as well,” said Brandy Rand, chief operating officer for the Americas at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
“It’s also interesting to note that the value increase of beverage alcohol in the US continues to outpace volume growth, a clear indicator that US consumers are willing to pay for more premium products.”