In a departure from trends since 2020, wine consumption in the United States is dwindling, while the popularity of wine cocktails is surging. In the world’s largest wine market, the industry is capitalizing on its adaptability to weather a consumption downturn (-7.3% in the initial half of 2023) and regain prominence, driven notably by the escalating demand for ready-to-drink cocktails, especially in the on-premises sector.
According to the observatory of Italy’s Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), wine cocktails in the pre-mixed category are the sole positive beacon amid wine statistics for H1 2023. The year-over-year growth stands at over +3%, with spikes of +7% observed in on-premises establishments, particularly in bars and similar venues, where double-digit upswings have been recorded. Marzia Varvaglione, President of Agivi (the youth association of Unione Italiana Vini), highlights the burgeoning mixology phenomenon in the vanguard nation of global trends. In this context, wine can assume a pivotal role, necessitating “a pop and inclusive approach, primarily targeting the younger consumers, who are poised to appreciate our product for its intrinsic qualities in the future.”
In light of a challenging 2023 marked by reduced purchasing power, home wine consumption is witnessing a notable decline (-8.2%, with red wines at -9.6%). Conversely, the dip in on-premises purchases is less pronounced (-0.9%), with white wines nearly on par with reds. While the market share of ready-to-drink wine-based products remains modest (around 2%), it represents merely the tip of the iceberg within an on-trade landscape increasingly drawn to wine cocktails, predominantly featuring Champagne, Prosecco, and Asti Spumante.
Ready-to-drink cocktails, incorporating wine, beer, and spirits, packaged and primed for consumption, are capturing consumers in pursuit of trendy, fresh, and fruity flavors. Recent NielsenIQ data reveals that over the past year, ready-to-drink product sales in the USA have eclipsed $10 billion, with continuous year-over-year growth.