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America's regular wine drinkers growing in number, presenting more challenges

February 23, 2011

More Americans than ever before are drinking wine at least once a month, though they are becoming increasingly price conscious, according to new research published today by Wine Intelligence, a leading market research and strategy organization focused on the wine sector.

Around 80 million Americans sip wine every month, according to Portraits USA, a report that sets out a detailed segmentation of US wine drinkers based on their usage and attitude. This population has grown by 9% since 2009, boosted by a relatively large proportion of younger American adults taking up wine drinking at an earlier stage than previous generations.

However the flipside of this growth in the wine drinking population has been a steady increase in the price sensitivity of wine drinkers, and a corresponding decline in their tendency to experiment with new wine styles and varieties. Over a quarter of monthly wine drinkers (27%) now agree with the statement “I don’t mind what I buy so long as the price is right”, compared to 17% in September 2009.

There is more encouraging news for the on-premise. While stated spend levels are still considerably below the high recorded by the Vinitrac® USA survey in September 2008, consumer average stated spend rose to $18.46 a bottle in November 2010, up from a record low of $17.47 the previous March.

“The data in Portraits USA suggests that American wine drinkers are emerging from 2 years of recessionary behaviour, and I’m encouraged to see that the industry now has more wine consumers to target than ever before,” said Joyce Steers-Greget, USA Business Development Manager for Wine Intelligence.

Erica Donoho, Wine Intelligence Country Manager USA, added: “The challenge ahead for growers, brand owners, distributors and retailers is to engage with this new wine drinker. The days of easy sales to buyers with large disposible incomes are over, though there are clearly rewards out there for people who have done their homework.”

Report details:
Portraits USA 2011 is published today as part of the Wine Intelligence Portraits report series. Portraits USA is available for US$3,750 (single-user licence).

Further details about the report can be found at
Report requests should be directed to or

How the data was collected:
Data collected for these reports comes from two sources:
• Vinitrac® USA, the Wine Intelligence omnibus survey of America’s monthly wine drinkers, November 2010 wave. Sampling was quota based, n = 2,000 adults who drink wine at least once a month. Tracking data is also provided using previous Vinitrac® waves from 2009 and 2008, using the same sampling frame and quotas. Wine drinking population data comes from Wine Intelligence Calibration Studies 2009 & 2010: n = 2,000, all US adults, administered by YouGov (2010) and Ipsos (2009)
• Focus groups and depth interviews conducted by Wine Intelligence in November and December 2010 in Seattle and Delaware.

For full details on the methodologies used in these reports or any Wine Intelligence research, please contact

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