America Drank Less Wine In 2019. Here Is What You Sipped Instead

Posted: Jan 16, 2020

While wine drinking is on the decline, Americans are still spending more overall on alcohol.

Cheers, America. Your drinking tastes are a-changing. Wine has been fine, but now, it seems, you’re looking for something with more bubble or bite.

For the first time in 25 years, wine consumption has declined, falling in 2019 by nearly 1% in volume, according to global alcohol tracker IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

While wine drinking is on the decline, Americans are still spending more overall on alcohol, with $167 billion going to buy booze. It’s a 2.5% increase over 2018, IWSR says.

And although Americans were drinking slightly more in 2019 than the past couple of years — a 0.3% increase, reversing the nearly 1% declines of the past two years — it’s really how much we’re spending that’s outpacing how much we’re drinking. It’s “a clear indicator that U.S. consumers are willing to pay for more premium products,” said Brandy Rand, IWSR Drink Markets

Analysis chief operating officer for the Americas, in a statement accompanying the report.

“The challenges facing the wine industry have been looming for years, as baby boomers age out and millennials show more of a preference for spirits and hard seltzers,” she told USA TODAY. “With the rise in low- and no-alcohol products and consumer trends toward health and wellness, wine is in a tough place to compete.”

One bright spot: the sparkling subcategory, Rand said, “where we’re seeing growth from cocktails like the Aperol Spritz, and consumer preference for fizzy beverages is going strong.”
Bubbles were big in 2019. And so were more boozy options. People were drinking more whiskey, vodka, rum, tequila and gin — up 2.3% over last year. And the hard seltzers were the drink of 2019, with volume increasing by nearly 50%.

But it wasn’t a win for everything with bubbles. For the fourth consecutive year, consumption of beer fell, by 2.3% in 2019. Also down: cider, which fell 3.8%.

Other developments:
Hard seltzers are making a splash. Hard seltzer consumption is expected to triple by 2023, IWSR predicts. Awareness and consumption will only benefit from the entry of new seltzers from Bud Light (out this week) and Corona (due this spring).

Already, hard seltzers such as White Claw and Truly account for 43% of the ready-to-drink beverages category, which also includes cocktails and other lower-calorie, lower-sugar options — all of which appeal, particularly, to younger drinkers.

Spirits got a new top dog. Tito’s Handmade Vodka increased in volume by 20% and knocked off Smirnoff vodka as the top-selling distilled spirit in America. Vodka maintained its lead in spirits volume, which collectively grew 2.3%. Other spirits’ advances: mezcal (40%), Japanese whiskey (23.1%), Irish whiskey (8.6%), tequila (9.3%), U.S. whiskey (5.5%), and cognac (4%).

By USA TODAY January 14, 2020
Source and Complete
Article: Chicago

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