Sovos ShipCompliant’s annual Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report shows wine shipments to consumers spiked following lockdown restrictions, with consumers ordering more throughout the pandemic
(BOSTON) January 28, 2021 – American consumers forced to undergo shelter-in-place orders and other COVID-19 restrictions ordered a record amount of direct wine shipments in 2020, according to the latest Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipping Report from Sovos ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics. Mirroring wider trends in ecommerce, the DtC wine shipping market topped previous records as wine drinkers went online to shop.
By the numbers, American consumers ordered 8.39 million cases of wine valued at more than $3.7 billion in 2020. This amounted to a 27% annual increase in shipment volume, the largest single-year increase in shipments ever recorded. Notably, direct-to-consumer wine shipments jumped in March as bars and restaurants closed, and they continued at a heightened clip through the end of the year.
“Consumer demand for direct shipments from wineries skyrocketed as we all adapted to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Larry Cormier, vice president, general manager, Sovos ShipCompliant. “The pandemic only accelerated the shift to frictionless and convenient ecommerce, and consumers now expect the option to buy all of their goods online, including alcohol. We expect growth from this major shift in consumer behavior to have long-lasting effects on the direct-to-consumer wine shipping market.”
Consumers Favored Cheaper Varietals & Wines From Larger, Well-Known Wineries in 2020
As a general rule, the varietals and regions with the lowest average price per bottle shipped saw the largest year-over-year increases in volume as buyers turned toward lower-priced wines amid economic uncertainty. The most popular varietals shipped directly to consumers in 2020 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel – maintained the same dominant position they have held for the last decade. Yet only Chardonnay, with its lower-than-average price per bottle shipped, significantly outperformed the overall DtC shipping channel with a 33.6% increase in volume.
Cheaper varietals, such as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Riesling and White Blends, likewise soared in popularity with consumers. These lower-cost varietals significantly outperformed the wine shipping market with volume growth between 32% and 45%. Across all wine types, shipments with an average price per bottle of $30 or less increased by 41.6%.
In addition, America’s largest wineries – which historically ship the lowest priced wines each year – benefited from shifting consumer preferences for lower-cost wine. Wines in this category include some of the most well-known wines available commercially, and consumers bought 54.7% more wine from these big producers than in 2019. These largest wineries now capture 18.2% of the entire DtC shipping channel’s volume, up from only 5.5% in 2015.
“The increase in wine shipments in 2020 tells a complex story of changing purchasing habits,” Cormier said. “While overall shipments were up, consumers pivoted to cheaper wines in reaction to an economy experiencing layoffs, furloughs and tighter budgets.”
The Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report is an annual collaboration between Sovos ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics, examining shipment trends from wineries to U.S. consumers. The proprietary data included is compiled from an algorithm measuring total DtC shipments based on millions of anonymous direct shipping transactions filtered through the ShipCompliant system and paired with Wines Vines Analytics’ comprehensive data on U.S. wineries.
To download the full Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report and to see more insights and DtC trends, visit https://dtcreport.com/.
Sovos was built to solve the complexities of the digital transformation of tax, with complete, connected offerings for tax determination, continuous transaction control compliance, tax reporting and more. The company supports more than 8,000 customers, including half of the Fortune 500, operating in over 70 countries. Its SaaS products and proprietary Sovos S1 Platform integrate with a wide variety of business applications and government compliance processes. Sovos has employees throughout North America, Latin America and Europe, and is owned by Hg and TA Associates. For more information visit https://www.sovos.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Sovos ShipCompliant
Sovos ShipCompliant has been the leader in automated alcohol beverage compliance tools for more than 15 years, providing a full suite of cloud-based solutions to wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers to ensure they meet all federal and state regulations for direct-to-consumer and three-tier distribution. ShipCompliant’s solutions reduce risk, lessen the burden of compliance, accelerate bringing products to market and enable revenue growth. With 60 partner integrations, Sovos ShipCompliant leads a robust ecosystem of technology partnerships, enabling powerful complementary solutions. For more information, visit https://sovos.com/shipcompliant/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Wines Vines Analytics
The Wines Vines Analytics team maintains the wine industry’s most accurate databases and provides data-driven analysis, data, insights and reports to help our clients grow and manage their businesses. For more information visit www.winesvinesanalytics.com.
Chris Shattuck on behalf of Sovos