by Helena Morgana Germanetto, Colangelo & Partners
Americans enjoy more sparkling wine, with consumption rising by 30% since 2019
The United States is one of the world’s most valuable sparkling wine markets, and its third largest in overall consumption.The massive demand for bubbles over the last year is attributed to the overwhelming desire to celebrate weddings, holiday gatherings, and other personal milestones that were affected by the restrictions of the pandemic. By analyzing the statistics of the last five years, the market expanded more over 2021 than any other year within this time period.
Why sparkling wine?
Although Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were a contributing factor to the sparkling wine trend, recent on-premise consumption is on the rise as in-person occasions become more prevalent. Brunch menus featuring “bottomless” mimosas and sparkling wine cocktails have been a motivating factor for sustained popularity and demand. The rise of the Aperol Spritz has also aided in the growth of this lower-ABV sector of the market as well.
Additionally, national consumer and retail activations within the last five years have raised awareness and perception of sparkling wines as a versatile option for a variety of occasions. A great example of this is National Prosecco Week. This week-long celebration, produced in conjunction with New York City-based integrated communications agency Colangelo & Partners, assisted in raising awareness for Italian sparkling wines of Prosecco DOC between trade professionals, media, and consumers.
According to IWSR data, the sparkling wine market in the US is projected to grow by more than 15% in volume 2021 to 2026, and is expected to account for nearly 15% of global sparkling wine sales by 2026.
Findings from Wine Intelligence, a division of IWSR Group, show that the number of Americans enjoying sparkling wine has risen by 30% between 2019 and 2022. Not only are more people drinking sparkling wine, but they are drinking it more frequently, with the number of monthly sparkling wine drinkers rising from 56% three years ago to 72% in 2022. Almost a quarter of respondents reported drinking sparkling wine at least twice a week.
The pandemic inspired a notion that “every day is a celebration” and consumers are increasingly enjoying sparkling wine to relax at the end of the day with an informal meal at home. Once reserved for formal events and special occasions, this changing attitude towards sparkling wine as a more accessible drink option has fueled this trend.
Does more consumption correspond to more knowledge about the products?
According to Wine Intelligence insights, although the population of sparkling wine drinkers has grown, there is little awareness of the various categories of sparkling wine. Newcomers demonstrate less of an understanding of the category than more established drinkers. The sparkling wine segment in the U.S. is widening its appeal, yet this is not compromising the trend towards premiumisation. Consumers are now spending significantly more per bottle for most sparkling wine types compared to previous years. What bodes well for the prospects for sparkling wines in the U.S. is that all sparkling wine types are being viewed as better value for money than in previous years.