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The year 2007 stands out as a milestone for the US wine market. Wine sales continued to increase for the 14th straight year, with adult per capita consumption reaching a new record. Moreover, the outlook is excellent for a steady, durable expansion in the US wine market, which is estimated to grow by up to 13% over the next five years. Table wine consumption reached an all-time record with sales estimated at 269 million cases.

This growth trend is mainly due to a change in wine and spirits consumption habits, especially among the Millennial Generation, as well as Generation X, who prefer premium spirits and fresh sophisticated wine brands over beer. Young adults tend to gradually adopt wine as a core product in their daily lives. The steady growth in wine sales could also be explained by major changes in marketing. Specifically, new packaging options such as Bag-in-Box, more contemporary labelling and widespread availability are all bringing wine to a wider public.

Moreover, California has played a key role in providing education about wine consumption and in making the beverage more accessible to all consumers. In recent years, imported wines ? New World wines in particular ? have gained market share and every year claim a greater percentage of total sales. New World producers have understood these key factors. Their products are generally less expensive than Old World wines and are marketed more aggressively.

Put this together with improved quality, and it's clear why New World wines are winning over a significant number of consumers. Moreover, the growth in wine sales is now more significant in terms of value than volume, as wine drinkers show a growing preference for higher quality wines. Finally, in coming years, serious consideration will have to be given to the future of the three tier distribution system: should it be disassembled, replaced with a two-and-a-half tier system or complemented with more widespread shipping from wineries to consumers? To learn more, contact us at