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Number of US frequent wine drinkers declines

Published:  14 January, 2020

The number of US consumers drinking wine at least once a month has declined by 11 million, but overall participation in the wine category is up, according to the Wine Intelligence US Landscapes 2020 report.

The research agency estimates a monthly, or ‘regular’, wine drinking population of 77 million in 2019, or approximately 1 in 3 American adults, down from an estimated 88 million in 2015.

The loss of regular participants in the wine category were driven by the Millennial cohort, said Wine Intelligence, with this group accounting for approximately 29 million monthly wine drinkers in 2015 dropping to around 21.5 million in 2019, it estimated in the report released today.

On a more encouraging note for the industry, the total wine drinking population in the US reached a record high of 118 million in 2019 - an increase of 8 million people drinking wine at least once a year compared with 2015.

The 2019 estimate showed that significant numbers of US consumers have shifted their relationship with wine to a more infrequent beverage, with more people drinking wine overall but doing so less frequently than in the past, said Wine Intelligence.

“The US wine consumer has fuelled an unprecedented growth story for wine in the 21st century. The data we are seeing now suggests that this picture is starting to change for the next generation of wine drinkers,” said Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence.

Success in the US wine market in the coming decade would be measured by how well wine adapts to the new reality of growing health consciousness and a more proliferated beverage choice, she added.

The wine drinking population estimates are based on repeat cross-sectional calibration surveys carried out with a nationally representative sample of US adults aged over 21, conducted annually using a consistent research methodology.