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Who’s driving world wine consumption?

The latest figures from International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR), a London-based drinks research group, in a report commissioned by Vinexpo, estimate that in 2013, 3.2 billion cases of wine were produced.

That’s 38.4 billion bottles—quite an astonishing number. The majority, 54%, is red wine, compared with 37% for white and 9% for rosé.

According to the IWSR, the US is still the biggest market by volume, drinking a total of 339 million cases of wine in 2013.

This was above France’s 296-million cases, Italy’s 288-million, Germany’s 274-million and China’s 144-million (which made it the world’s fifth largest consumer of wine). The UK came in sixth, drinking a total of 133-million cases.

Per capita wine consumption is perhaps the more interesting figure. Here, Italy leads the pack, ahead of France, Switzerland, Portugal and Austria.

In terms of total market value (which nation spends the most on wine), the top three are the US, France and the UK, with Britain forecast to increase its spending over the next three years, nudging France into third place.

The IWSR predicts that by 2018, the top two still-wine markets by value, the US and UK, will be worth $33.2-billion and $17.1-billion respectively.

“The US is the biggest market in the world for wine and will remain the biggest market up to 2018 by quite a margin,” says Humphrey Serjeantson, a senior analyst at the IWSR.

“What we are seeing in the US is that it is increasingly common for millennial consumers to drink wine with meals. There is no doubt consumers in the US are becoming more knowledgeable and educated about wine.”

Sparkling-wine consumption was led by the Germans, who drank 46-million cases of fizz in 2014. They beat out France, at 30-million, and Russia (traditionally a large market for Champagne), which consumed 26-million cases.

The US was fourth, with 18-million cases, and the UK fifth, consuming 11-million cases—incredible given the difference in population of the two countries.

Although the US and Europe are strong at the moment, Serjeantson says that European consumption is set to decline due to a change in lifestyle factors, such as greater awareness of drunk driving.

China, meanwhile, saw a 69% growth in wine consumption from 2009 to 2013 and is forecast to grow by almost 25% from 2014 to 2018.

Source: IWSR

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