U.S. wine market research and insights

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The mission of the Wine Market Council is to be the leader in forward looking market research on U.S. wine consumer buying habits, attitudes and trends.

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From Our Research

Over the past year, several reputable sources have reported declines in U.S. wine sales. SipSource depletion data shows wine sales down year-over-year and Nielsen IQs multi-channel scan data shows retail sales for table wine down 4.5% in volume and 1% in value vs. year ago, for the 52 weeks ending 7/1/2023. This downtrend has been present for over two years, although some price segments and wine types have bucked it.

Wine Market Council is in the midst of a major research project to determine what is causing this, and identifying solutions the wine industry can take to resolve these issues. We have titled the new research project, the ‘Wine Category Shifting Study,’ and it is organized into two phases.

The first phase consisted of a quantitative analysis using Nielsen IQ’s Homescan Panel. The panel consists of over 100,000 households who track their take-home purchases from any store (or delivery) using smart phones or home scanning devices. The methodology allows Nielsen to match actual purchases over time with household demographics.

Regular wine consuming households were defined as those purchasing wine 6+ times a year. They are responsible for the vast majority of wine purchases in the panel, so the initial analysis focused on them.

During the two years ending in April 2023, nearly 1 in 10 Regular wine purchasers dropped out of regular wine purchasing (mostly becoming occasional wine purchasers e.g. 2-5 times a year). About 15% of occasional & 1-time purchasers didn’t purchase wine at all in 52 weeks ending in April 2023.

wine market council wine buyers volume analysis

Many of those dropping out of regular wine purchases cut back on alcohol purchases generally, although some of that may be due to channel shift during 2022 to early 2023 as people continued to return to restaurants, bars and other on-premise venues.

While this reduced the total volume of wine purchased, those households that remained regular wine buyers increased their frequency of purchase, although this was partially offset by smaller quantities per occasion. Furthermore, regular buyers net traded down, with $10-20 wines in particular picking up volume from $20+ wine.

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Wine Market Council
2024 Research Conference & Annual Membership Meeting

WMC Speakers
And it’s a wrap! After months of planning and preparation, we are happy to report that the WMC 2024 Research Conference was a big success. Thanks to all who attended!

from Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The recording and slide decks are now available through the Member Login page.

This year’s meeting kicked off with Danny Brager, Wine Business Analyst and former SVP of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area. Danny providing an industry overview presentation entitled: Bright Spots and Challenges in the U.S. Wine Industry. This presentation focused on recent U.S. wine sales data and trends, with an emphasis on what’s selling well and opportunities in the market.

Next is an opportunity to hear the latest research results from WMC’s 2023/2024 Benchmark Segmentation Study. This is the hallmark survey that WMC conducts every two years and is the largest and longest running survey on U.S. wine consumer purchasing habits, attitudes, and trends.

These results are supplemented by findings from other recent WMC research studies and are part of a presentation entitled: Portrait of the U.S. Wine Consumer & What They Want from the Wine Industry. Presenters are Dr. Liz Thach, MW, President, Wine Market Council and Christian Miller, Research Director, Wine Market Council.

You will also hear from an esteemed panel of wine experts who speak on Innovative Methods to Attract Younger and Multi-Cultural Consumers to the Wine Category. For long term survival, it is critical that the wine industry do a better job at attracting more young adults and multicultural consumers. Our panel members all have great experience in this area and include Chris Riboli, VP of Riboli Family Wines and the Stella Rosa brand; Angela McCrae, Founder of Uncorked & Cultured and Silver Oak Winery Apprentice; Dalia Ceja, Executive Marketing Director for Ceja Vineyards; and Heidi Scheid, EVP of Scheid Family Wines.