Wineries in the US have continued to see growth in direct sales to wine lovers in the past year, and the total market will top $3 billion in 2018, says a new industry report.
Wines shipped directly from the winery to consumer made up 10% of retail sales for domestically produced wines in the US in 2017 – that’s excluding bars, restaurants and hotels – show figures released by Sovos ShipCompliant and trade publication Wines & Vines.
Their latest annual report into the direct-to-consumer wine market underlines strong momentum for the sector.
Total DTC shipments in 2017 rose by 15.3% in volume and 15.5% in value versus 2016, to the equivalent of 5.78 million 12-bottle cases and $2.69 billion.
And the report’s analysts believe the $3 billion mark is very much in reach in 2018.
California makes up around 30% of the so-called DTC market, but figures show that demand across the rest of the US is broad.
Texas was the second most important destination for DTC sales in 2017, accounting for 8% of the market, with New York next on 6% and Florida fourth on 5%.
Pennsylvania, which opened up to DTC wine shipments in 2016, jumped into the top 10 states by destination, in volume terms, in 2017 – suggesting significant pent-up demand among wine lovers.
Oklahoma is set to become one of the few remaining US states to open its doors this year, expected to do so in October – potentially just in time for Thanksgiving.
In terms of the wineries shipping the wine, the report authors highlighted 25% volume growth for Sonoma County wines in 2017, plus a 58% jump in rosé wine shipments.
Wineries of all sizes appeared to be finding a corner of the DTC market to operate in, but smaller wineries – often commanding higher prices per bottle – remained the mainstay of the sector.
‘As in past years, the small winery (5,000 to 49,999 cases) and very small winery (1,000 to 4,999 cases) categories drove the DTC shipping channel, accounting for 70% of the value of winery shipping,’ said the report authors.