U.S. Consumer Direct Wine Sales Reach Record $2.8 Billion in 2007

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Consumer demand drives U.S. direct wine sales to record levels as more wineries than ever compete in a crowded market.

U.S. consumer direct wine sales reached record levels in 2007, according to the latest research results published today by wine marketing advisors, VinterActive LLC.

Based on their annual VinQuest™ survey of the nation's 3500+ bonded wineries, VinterActive reports that tasting room, wine club, internet, mail order and telesales grew to a record $2.8 Billion in 2007 as more wineries than ever sold their wine directly to U.S. consumers across the country.

At many established wineries, results were mixed in 2007 as gains in tasting room sales were offset by reported reductions in wine club spending, growing competition from other wineries and the significant barriers still posed by interstate shipping regulations.

Key findings of this year's research reveal:

  •     Total direct sales by U.S. wineries in 2007: $2.8 Billion
  •     Year-over-year change in consumer direct sales at established wineries in 2007: - 2%
  •     Tasting room sales growth in 2007: 29%
  •     Wine club sales decline in 2007: -4%
  •     Online wine sales growth in 2007: 3%
  •     Phone order growth in 2007: 33%
  •     Direct mail sales decline in 2007: -11%
  •     U.S. wineries projecting consumer direct as their fastest growing sales channel in 2008: 57%

Despite a sluggish economy and rising fuel prices, winery sales managers remain upbeat about prospects for growth, with most wine regions forecasting direct sales gains of 10% to 20% in 2008.

VinQuest™ 2008 also identifies the most effective sales/marketing practices used by consumer direct wineries in all regions and provides a detailed comparison of tasting room, wine club and online direct sales metrics at U.S. wineries of every size.

The complete 70-page VinQuest™ 2008 research report including detailed response to all survey questions, best-practices analysis, time-series views and proprietary regional winery performance data is available from VinterActive LLC at a cost of $1595.

About VinQuest™ 2008
The VinQuest™ 2008 research project was conducted by wine marketing advisors VinterActive LLC with support from a national coalition of wine industry associations in an effort to better understand the size and dynamics of the U.S. consumer direct wine sales channel. Now in its fourth year, VinQuest has become the largest and most widely used source of consumer direct sales data in the U.S. wine industry.

Participating winery associations include: WineAmerica, Napa Valley Vintners, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Illinois Wine, Russian River Wine Road, Heart of Sonoma Valley Association, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Oregon Wine Board, Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council, Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and the Paso Robles Wine Alliance. Initial guidance and encouragement was provided by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

About VinterActive LLC
VinterActive LLC is a leader in the research and practice of consumer direct wine marketing and winery ecommerce. Founded in 2001, VinterActive's global team of direct marketing experts, wine sales advisors, and system engineers have identified and developed proprietary techniques for increasing tasting room, wine club and online sales that have proven effective for both large and small wineries seeking to maximize their share of the rapidly growing consumer direct sales channel.

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Bryan St. Amant
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