Three wine companies – E. & J. Gallo, The Wine Group and Constellation – accounted for nearly half of all the wine sold in America in 2012. Out of the 345.1 million nine-liter cases sold in the U.S., the trio were responsible for 172.3 million cases, or 49.9 percent, according to the 2013 Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) report from Technomic.
Gallo, the producer of the country’s second-largest brand, Barefoot, and Constellation, owner of Mondavi and Ravenswood, experienced single-figure growth. However, The Wine Group’s sales dropped slightly compared to 2011, with sales of its boxed Franzia 3-liter WineTaps – the largest wine brand in America – falling 8.8 percent in volume.
Top 5 Wine Suppliers by Volume ('000s of 9-liter cases)
|Rank||Supplier||2012 volume||% Change|
|1||E & J Gallo Winery||81,730||3.5|
|2||The Wine Group||49,175||-4.4|
|5||Treasury Wine Estates||12,552||-1.9|
The U.S wine market’s biggest mover was California’s DFV Wines, which grew by more than 28 percent in 2012. The TAB report suggests that DFV’s growth was driven by its boxed-wine brand Bota Box – an indication of “consumers' growing acceptance of premium wines in alternative packaging.” The company also boasted the fastest-growing wine brand in the U.S in 2012. Handcraft sold 100,000 nine-liter cases – an increase of nearly 5,000 percent in one year.
Supply constraints presented widespread challenges. Domestic grape and wine production has not kept pace with growing consumer demand in recent years, causing many wine suppliers to turn to international sources. While domestic wine was the primary driver of the industry, imported table wine grew by 1.6 percent, accounting for slightly more than one-fifth of America's total wine consumption.
Suppliers were active in terms of developing new products. Nearly 240 new table wines hit the market in 2012 and more than half were made in America. Many were new varietal or style additions to existing portfolios, often with sweeter flavor profiles and sometimes without varietal or appellation information on the labels. Constellation alone introduced 33 new wines.
"Wine consumers, especially Millennials, gravitated toward more approachable and drinkable wines suitable for a range of dining and social occasions," said Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic.
"Specialty wines such as sangrias and chocolate wines really took off," she added. "Wine is now part of a casual lifestyle, and domestic wine marketers are looking to satisfy that growing demand with intriguing products."
Fastest-Growing Wine Brands ('000s of 9-liter cases)
|Brand||Supplier||2012 volume||% Change|
|Josh Cellars||Deutsch Family||130||550.0|
|The Dreaming Tree||Constellation||185||236.4|
Source: Technomic's 2013 Wine TAB Report