Off-premise sales of domestic wine finished 2013 with a 7% growth rate and $7.3 billion for the year, according to IRI. Sales volume in domestic table wine grew 3% to reach 98 million cases, while domestic sparkling wine sales volume grew 7% to 3 million cases.
Sales of domestic wines grew 6% in December alone compared to December 2012, according to IRI, the Chicago-based market-research firm, and analysis by Wines Vines Analytics. December was by far the biggest sales month of the year, with $742 million in wine sales at the food, drug, liquor and convenience stores monitored by IRI. Domestic table wines grew by 7% in December, but a 2% drop in domestic sparkling wine sales drew down the overall rate.
Red blends up 18%
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon held their places as the No. 1 and No. 2 top-selling varietal wines off-premise during 2013. The No. 3 position shifted, however, as Pinot Grigio/Gris sales grew 11% to surpass Merlot sales, which declined 2%. The red blends/Meritage category grew fastest at 18%, followed by Fumé/Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, both with 12% increases.
White Zinfandel shrank by 7% and Riesling by 4%. Syrah/Shiraz contracted by 12% in 750ml bottles and by 7% in 1.5-liter bottles.
Domestic table wines gained 1% market share from imports and took 80% of dollar value in IRI’s 2013 total versus 20% for imports. Imported table wines grew 1%. California had a 73% share of the table wine market, followed by Australia and Italy, both with 6%, and Washington state with 5%.
Sales growth rates by price segment varied considerably in 2013. The hottest domestic wines were those priced $20 and up, which grew by 21%, followed by premium boxed wines priced $3.50-$4.99 per 750ml at 20%.
Cabernet leads at $20
Among $20-plus wines, the biggest selling varietals (in order) in terms of largest sales were Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio/Gris. Pinot Noir was by far the fastest growing high-priced varietal of 2013. Sales were up by 54%.
The largest price segment in dollars for domestics was $5-$7.99. This category grew 4%. Close behind in overall sales was the $8-$10.99 segment, which grew 10%.
The top-selling brands in dollar value tended to be those in low price segments. Barefoot remained the No. 1 selling brand, Sutter Home was second, Franzia was third, Yellow Tail fourth and Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi was fifth.
Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve was the only brand in the top 20 priced more than $11 per bottle.