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2021 Mid-Year DTC Report Details Channel Growth 

by Wine Business Monthly
August 02, 2021

 

After unprecedented growth in 2020, winery direct-to-consumer shipments stayed strong this year, gaining more than 12% in value to reach $1.89 billion through the first six months of 2021. 

Total volume in the period came to 4.09 million 9L cases, which is 1.9% more than what was shipped in the first six months of 2020. Monthly shipment volumes have lagged behind 2020 since March following the rollout of vaccines and the reopening of the on-premise sector until June when it was up 4% compared to last year. 

The volume increase in June also came with a 13% increase in the average bottle price of all DTC shipments to $32.38. The average bottle price for the first six months of 2021 was $38.50, which is 10.1% more than in the same period last year when the average bottle price fell by nearly 11% compared to 2019. 

The decline of the average bottle price in 2020 reflected the tremendous increase in shipment volume of wines priced lower than normal because consumers were shifting their retail spending into the DTC channel while wineries were discounting, offering free shipping and making other special offers to compensate for the loss of on-premise and tasting room business. 

As the average bottle price increases while total DTC volume remains close to 2020 levels, it appears the channel has grown overall thanks to consumers being more willing and comfortable with buying wines DTC. 

Other findings from the mid-year report include: 

  • The first half of 2021 saw the largest wineries (those producing 500,000 or more cases per year) with the largest volume growth at 9.7%, along with value growth of 10.9%. Medium-sized wineries (those making 50,000- 499,000 cases per year) fared the worst in both value and volume: Volume decreased by 14.9% and value was flat year-over-year, a perhaps unsurprising retreat given the difficulty of sustaining the massive shipment levels driven by the pandemic during the same period in 2020. Other winery sizes saw between 10.9% and 16.6% value growth. 
  • For the first half of 2021, Red Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir combined made up more than 50% of total wine volume shipped DtC, with $1.24 billion in value. 
  • Sparkling wine enjoyed the largest year-over-year increase in both volume (up 30.3%) and value (up 41.1%) and accounted for 3.8% of total volume shipped. Cabernet Franc saw the second highest value growth at 28.7%, and Riesling was third at 24.9% year-over-year. Moscato and Pinot Grigio were the only varietals to decrease in value; they each decreased in volume as well.

For more details from the 2021 mid-year report or to download the entire annual report with data and trends from 2020 visit: sovos.com/shipcompliant 


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