Global wine consumption continues to rise

Between 2009 and 2013, global wine consumption increased by 2.7% to reach a total of 2.648 billion 9-litre cases or over 31.7 billion bottles according to Vinexpo.


For the 13th year running, the international wine and spirits exhibition organiser has commissioned a study from market intelligence provider International Wine and Spirit Research covering 28 producing countries and 114 consumer markets.

The in-depth analysis of global consumption, production and international trade in wines and spirits is unique due to its inclusion of a five-year forecast (up to 2018 for this new study).

This predicts that growth will accelerate by a further 1% between 2014 and 2018 to reach 2.732 billion 9-litre cases, or 32.78 billion bottles.

The US, the world’s largest wine market, is driving this growth in global consumption. It consumed 312.5 million cases in 2013 and was the only one of the top 10 wine-drinking countries to show growth from the previous year. The increase was lower than in preceding years though, totalling only five million more cases over 12 months. However, the overall value is sustained by a shift in demand towards the higher end of the market.

Meanwhile Europe is losing some of its market share to other continents. Although Europeans still drink two-thirds of the world’s wine, Europe’s 2009 market share of 68% is expected to shrink to 62% by 2018 as other continents gain more sales.

Global wine growth will also be boosted by sparkling wines (excluding champagne).

In 2013, sparkling wines accounted for 8% of the world’s wine consumption. This figure is expected to rise to 8.9% by 2018.

Cava sales escalated in 2013, with an increase of over 100,000 in the number of cases consumed. A growth in imports to Belgium, Nigeria and France was the main contributor to this.

Prosecco exports doubled, with one million more cases sold in the UK. This sparkling wine is also firmly established in the US now.



In contrast to the above, Champagne consumption fell by 1.4% globally in 2013. The main reason for this has been put down to shrinking demand in its three main markets: France, the UK and the US.

However Vinexpo reports that the outlook is far from bleak as demand is on the rise in a number of other countries including Australia and Japan.


Red wine

Red wine still dominates global consumption. It represented 54.8% of all still wine drunk in 2103. However consumption fell by 19.8 million cases between 2012 and 2013, mainly because of reduced demand from China.


Rosé wine

Rosé is the wine category least affected by the 2013 slump in demand with global sales remaining steady at 219.7 million cases in 2012 and 219.1 million in 2013. Its stability is supported by thriving sales in France, the UK and the US, the three main rosé markets.

Vinexpo reports that the international wine trade is healthy, with more than a quarter of all bottles consumed being imported (29.5% of bottles consumed in 2013 amounting to 720 million 9-litre cases).

An acceleration in import sales of 6.1% is predicted by 2018 compared to only 3.5% in overall sales.


The Spirits market

Vinexpo also reports that global consumption of spirits reached 3.069 million 9-litre cases in 2013, an increase of 19.1% from 2009.

This growth is expected to continue albeit at a slower rate (3%) with consumption reaching 3.180 million cases by 2018.

Asia-Pacific is the world’s largest spirits consumer accounting for 63% of the world’s spirits consumption. Baiju alone makes up more than a third of the global total (38%). This white spirit, distilled from sorghum, wheat or rice, is mainly drunk in China, the world’s largest spirits consumer.


Whiskies & Bourbons

Whiskies and Bourbons are back in vogue with projections for the next five years pointing to increases in whisky and Bourbon sales of 8.8% and 19.3% respectively. This development will be mainly sustained by five countries – Russia, Brazil, Mexico, India and Poland – who added more than a million cases to their total consumption between 2009 and 2013.



Global consumption of vodka, however, is levelling out.

Although vodka holds its position as the leading ‘international’ spirit (Baiju being drunk mainly in China), demand is stabilising. The current figure of 219.7 million cases represents a rise of 5% since 2009. But the tax increase imposed in Russia has significantly slowed growth by driving young consumers to explore new, trendier alcoholic beverages.



At the same time, a new turning point for Cognac and Armagnac appears to have been reached with sales of Cognac and Armagnac escalating 19% between 2009 and 2012. Although demand has flourished in Asian markets, since 2013 growth has been curtailed by the Chinese government’s anti-corruption legislation.

Nevertheless, five-year forecasts remain positive (+3.5%), with particularly healthy sales expected in America, the biggest market for cognac exports.

Vinexpo takes place from 14th to 18th June.




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