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U.S. and Asia to drive growth in wine consumption

Global wine consumption figures show growth over the next four years will not likely come from Europe


Bordeaux, France – Recent statistics from Vinexpo show that growth in wine consumption is not likely to come from the usual suspects.

In 2011, for instance, the U.S. officially overtook France and Italy to become the world’s biggest wine consumer by volume.

Vinexpo says that the mature markets and tough economic climate in much of Europe will mean the U.S. and Asia are most likely to drive growth in global wine consumption over the next four years.

Producers to focus on Asia, North America

In an article on Just-Drinks.com, Vinexpo says that strong demand for wine in the U.S. and China will force more wine companies to focus greater resources on Asia and North America.

Between 2011 and the end of 2015, the U.S. and Asia will drive a six per cent increase in global wine consumption to 2.8 billion nine-litre cases. Consumption rose by 4.5 per cent between 2005 and 2010.

Just-Drinks.com reports that wine sales by volume are expected to rise by 10 per cent in the U.S. up to 2015.

China, meanwhile, has overtaken the U.K. in the past year to become the world’s fifth largest wine market by volume, if Hong Kong is included in the figures.

With per capita consumption in China still a fraction of that in developed markets, at around one litre, the country is tipped to overtake the U.S. to become the largest wine market in the world within the next two decades.

“That’s where everyone is looking: China, China, China,” says Robert Beynat, Vinexpo’s CEO.

Consumption falling in Europe

In Europe there’s a very different picture. Wine consumption is set to continue falling in key wine producer nations, such as France and Italy. The region’s economic issues will also hamper wine firms’ progress.

In the U.K., wine consumption per capita will fall to around 24 litres per person in 2015. This is below 2005 levels and represents an expected four per cent drop in market volume between 2011 and 2015.

Just-Drinks.com reports that the U.K. will remain the world’s biggest importer of wine by value up to 2015, where consumers are also buying higher quality wines.

Still, it is the U.S. and Asia that are causing the most excitement.