12.16.2013  
 

Wine Industry Sales Grow in November

Flash sales offers increase as Screaming Eagle sets possible price record

 
by Wines & Vines staff
 
flash wine
 
In the past 12 months, Wines Vines Analytics spotted 98 flash offers for domestic wines with flash prices of $100 or more. Of these wines, 85 are from vineyards in Napa County and the rest are from Sonoma County, California’s Central Coast and one from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
San Rafael, Calif.—The U.S. wine industry performed well in November based on the Wine Industry Metrics posted by Wines Vines Analytics today. Domestic wines showed 7% growth in off-premise sales and 1% growth in direct-to-consumer shipments, while winery hiring activity rose 52%, all compared to November 2012.

Internet flash sales of U.S. wines also grew in November—by 15% in number of offers—as a flurry of especially high-priced wines were sold by flash sites.

High-priced flash offers
Flash websites have carved their niche in the wine market by offering discounts. Not surprisingly, nearly 60% of the 5,252 domestic wines they offered during the past 12 months were discounted to less than $20, and 80% were less than $30. However, flash websites also offered a small selection of high-priced wines.

Wines Vines Analytics tracks offers for domestic wines, and the highest priced wines are almost exclusively from Napa Valley. In a recent flurry of high-priced flash offers in November, flash wine seller Invino made the most expensive flash offer that Wines Vines Analytics has recorded: a 1993 bottle from Screaming Eagle Winery for $2,499. The wine was posted with a retail price of $4,425. On wine-searcher.com, the same wine had an average price of $3,674.

In the past 12 months, Wines Vines Analytics spotted 98 flash offers for domestic wines with flash prices of $100 or more. Of these wines, 85 were from vineyards in Napa County and the rest were from Sonoma County, California’s Central Coast and one from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Many of these offers were for magnums or multiple bottles, yet several were for standard 750ml bottles. Last Bottle Wines offered a 375-ml bottle of 2002 Chardonnay by Sine Qua Non winery for $178, which was a 49% discount off its retail price of $350.

Winery job index stays high
The Winery Job Index computed by Winejobs.com for November soared 52% over November 2012. Winejobs.com reported that hiring activity also grew slightly from October to November at a time when hiring typically slows as the tourism season ends.

The November 2013 increase in job postings was driven by big increases in three categories: hospitality, sales and winemaking jobs. The hospitality index increased 84% from its level in November 2012. The sales and marketing index increased 69%. The winemaking job index rose 61%. Lower increases in finance jobs, vineyard jobs and general administration jobs tempered overall job growth.

Off-premise sales up 7%
The pace of off-premise sales growth in November rose 7% in value for domestic table and sparkling wines compared to November 2012, according to IRI, the Chicago-based market research firm. Sales were up by $46 million in the food, drug, liquor and convenience stores monitored by IRI. For the 52 weeks ending Dec. 1, domestic wine sales also grew by 7%, compared to the previous period.

High-end domestic wines in off-premise outlets grew 20% in value in November compared to a year ago, IRI’s research revealed. For five out of the past six reporting periods, the combined categories of table wines at $20-plus and sparkling wines at $18-plus grew by at least 20%. The slower month of October saw 15% growth.

DtC shipments increase by 1% in November
The value of direct-to-consumer shipments of domestic wine increased by 1% in November. Volume rose by 2% during the same period, as the composition of shipments shifted toward an increased volume of lower priced wines. Consumers spent $225 million on 446,000 9-liter case equivalents, making November the second best month of 2013 so far.

Growth for the 12-month period through November was 8% higher than a year previously. The category as a whole experienced a very slight softening of 13 cents in average bottle price during the 12-month period.

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