Direct shipping proves tremendous growth opportunity for wineries, who shipped nearly six million cases directly to consumers last year, according to the annual Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report from Sovos and Wines & Vines.
(Boston, MA) JANUARY 22, 2018
Wineries shipped $2.69 billion worth of wine directly to consumers in 2017, according to the 2018 Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipping Report from Sovos and Wines & Vines. Despite fires ravaging wine country during peak harvest season, wineries shipped 15.3% more wine to U.S. consumers at a 15.5% higher value than they did in 2016. Outpacing the six-year average growth rates for volume and value, the winery DtC shipping channel is on track to reach $3 billion in sales in 2018.
The 2018 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report details several notable trends from 2017, including:
- The DtC shipping channel’s share of off-premise sales is increasing: Wineries shipped 5.78 million cases of wine, increasing the DtC channel’s share to a notable 10% of all domestic wines sold through retail channels.
- Growth continues to accelerate, with no end in sight: Last year, the 15.3% increase in volume and 15.5% increase in value outpaced the impressive five-year average growth rates of 11% for volume and 12% for the value of direct shipments, signaling growth is likely to continue at a brisk pace over the next several years.
- Sonoma is rising: Now representing 26% of the total volume of wine shipments, Sonoma County shipped 25% more wine in 2017, putting the region on track to eventually surpass Napa County as the largest source of wine shipments in the country.
- Pennsylvania is a burgeoning market: In its first full year permitting DtC shipments, Pennsylvanians received 152,000 cases of wine with a value of $57 million, solidifying the state as one of the top 10 destinations by volume.
- Rosé is in its heyday: Rosé shipments increased 58% last year, without any decline in the average price per bottle shipped. Since 2010, its share of volume in the DtC channel has increased by 200%, the largest increase of any wine tracked.
“Over the past five years, we’ve seen American consumers embrace direct wine shipments as a way to purchase the wines they love, and now the channel has progressed into a tremendous growth opportunity for wineries across the country,” said Larry Cormier, general manager, beverage alcohol and eCommerce at Sovos. “In addition, while some states have taken greater measures to regulate DtC wine shipments, we are not seeing any evidence of regulatory enforcement hindering growth for the channel. In fact, the DtC wine shipping channel is outperforming every other retail channel in the country, and as the wine industry continues to evolve and eCommerce swells, DtC shipping should continue to outpace other channels in the coming years.” Cormier presented an early look at these trends on January 17 at the 2018 Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium.
The DtC shipping channel, historically driven by smaller wineries, is gaining momentum from wineries in the larger size categories that produce 50,000 to over 500,000 cases per year. In 2017, medium-sized wineries across the country contributed 37% of the overall DtC shipping value growth, and since 2010, large-sized wineries have increased their volume of DtC shipments by 565% – more than any other winery size category.
“We’re seeing interesting shifts in the DtC channel. As wineries are increasingly turning to online sales channels, states like Pennsylvania and Arizona are showing momentum after easing restrictions, as a result, shipments of certain varietal wines are growing in both volume and value,” said Chet Klingensmith, publisher and president at Wines & Vines. “As U.S. wineries are migrating more and more toward direct sales, we certainly expect the DtC shipping channel to continue to thrive.”
The Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report is an annual collaboration between Sovos and Wines & Vines, examining shipment trends from wineries to U.S. consumers. The proprietary data included is comprised from an algorithm measuring total DtC shipments based on millions of anonymous direct shipping transactions filtered through the Sovos ShipCompliant system and paired with Wines & Vines’ comprehensive data on U.S. wineries. Download the full 2018 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report to see more insights and DtC trends.
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