Domestic Wines Up 6% at Retail in 2010

Off-premise sales revenue reached $4.4 billion at major stores

by Jim Gordon
wine sales

San Rafael, Calif.—Wine sales at major food and drug stores ended 2010 on the same positive trajectory it had been following all year. Domestic table wines grew 6% in dollar sales over 2009 for the four-week period ending Jan. 2, 2011, and the same 6% applied to the 52-week performance.

Domestic table wines from each four-week sales period in 2010 beat the same four-week period of 2009, according to check stand scan data from the Symphony IRI Group. Dollar sales for 52 weeks reached $4.4 billion as volume sales grew 4.8% to 66 million cases. The average price per 750ml rose $.07. The overall market for wine was not quite so robust, however. Imports muddled through 2010 with flat sales and shrinking prices per bottle. 

$20-plus wines grew 20%

The highest priced domestic wines sold $149 million and grew at 20% in dollars over 52 weeks. This $20-plus segment enjoyed the highest growth rate of all other domestic categories except one: box wines at the equivalent of $3.50-$4.99 per 750ml.  These grew at 24% from a relatively small base to $88 million in sales.

The largest price segment of domestic wines, $5-$7.99, grew at a slower pace, 4%. With more than $1 billion in sales it was a bigger mountain to move.

wine sales

Especially encouraging to Doug Goodwin, SIRI's VP of client insights for beer, wine and spirits, was that the sales growth of domestic wine came along with higher prices. "We heard about price cuts, but for the 52 weeks overall prices were up.  By the end of the year the average 750ml bottle was 7 cents higher than a year ago. The deep discounting was in imports." Dollar sales and volume sales for imports were flat, while the price per 750ml shrank $.04.

Washington up 5%, Oregon 12%

Washington wine grew at 5% but lost $.02 in average price per 750ml. Oregon was in third place among states at the stores measured, and increased its sales 12% in dollars, along with a notable price decline of $.22 per bottle. California wine accounted for 70% of all sales of table wine.

Among the major varietal categories in 750s, both domestic and imported, red blend/Meritage wines grew the fastest over 52 weeks, at 18%. Fume/Sauvignon Blanc was next in growth, at 12%, while Pinot Noir was third at 11%. The news remained depressing for Syrah/Shiraz producers. These wines in 750s dropped 10% in dollar sales through 2010.

 Looking closer at the four-week period through Jan. 2, it was the best holiday period in four years for the $20-plus segment.

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