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By The Numbers: July 2013 Edition

Posted on  | June 25, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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New York Scores Big at Tasters Guild
At Taster’s Guild International’s 26th annual wine competition in May, New York wineries collected nearly 200 medals. Double gold medals, requiring a unanimous vote by the judging panel, went to Schulze Vineyards & Winery 2011 Block Three Ice Wine ($54.95); Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles ($23) and 2011 Vidal Blanc ($11.99); and Torrey Ridge Winery Blue Sapphire ($11.29).

Among gold medalists, Keuka Spring Vineyards and Osprey’s Dominion led with four, while Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Goose Watch Winery, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Thirsty Owl Winery, Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars and Torrey Ridge took home three. The competition, held in Grand Rapids, MI, featured more than 2,000 wine entries from 10 countries and 27 states or provinces. Full results at tastersguild.com

Beer’s Loss = Wine & Spirits’ Gain
U.S. beer consumption peaked in 2008, while wine and spirits sales have been consistently growing for more than 20 years, according to the research firm Consumer Edge Insights. In 1985 wine’s share of consumption was about 13%, while beer’s was 55% and spirits represented 32% share. Now wine is sitting at 16% share, spirits at 31%, and beer’s share is down to 53%. David Decker, president of Consumer Edge Insights, attributes this trend primarily to evolving tastes; the attraction new brands and/or flavors; and consumers’ perception of wine as being healthier than beer.

Not all is lost for beer. It is still consumers’ favorite category with 40% who say they prefer it. Wine and spirits are essentially tied for second place with 28% and 27%. But when it comes to women and Millennials, two growing demographics, wine and spirits rule. Of consumers aged 21-27, 32% prefer spirits, followed by beer at 31% and wine at 23%. Women prefer wine by (40%), followed by spirits (27%) and beer (25%).

It’s interesting to see how the mix of favored spirits has changed over just three decades. In 1980 whiskey held the greatest share in terms of consumption at 49%, followed by vodka (19%), gin (9%), rum (7%) and tequila (2%). Fast forward to 2010: whiskey’s share was halved 24% and vodka’s share was up to 32%. Rum and tequila also grew steadily in share to 13% and 6% respectively, while gin slipped to 6% in 2010. Since 2010, however, whiskey and gin have been on the upswing and gin is gaining popularity in craft circles.

Indicative of a broader—and perhaps more adventurous—spirits market overall, “other” categories of spirits rose from a 14% market share in 1980 to 19% in 2010.

Napa Back on Top
Auction Napa Valley celebrated a return to splendor this year. Led by the live auction—which brought in $14.3 million in less than four hours and only 45 lots—the four-day event raised more than $16.9 million in all, topping their previous record of $10.5 million set in 2005. The 2013 event also put Auction Napa Valley back atop the charity wine auction scene; the total take was more than $1 million above the previous record, set by the Naples Winter Wine Festival in 2007.

Moonshine on the Fast Track
Junior Johnson started selling his family’s moonshine when he was 14; now at 81, he’s selling it legally. But those aren’t the most impressive numbers about Junior and the moonshine category; outpacing the competition by 2:1, Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon is on track to sell more than 500,000 nine-liter cases this year. Fueled by products that range from 80 to 100 proof and include six fruit infusions, it seems that the NASCAR legend’s brand, first launched in 2007, is serving as a pretty zippy pace car for the entire category.


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