The dollar's weaker value has resulted in a good market for exports. Imports continue to be outpaced by their domestic counterparts. This trend has been seen over the past several years partially due to currency issues shrinking importers' margins. Domestics rose 3.0% to 229.4 million cases, and imported wines lost 0.9% to end the year at 73.6 million cases. In addition, Australian wines were down by 12.5%, and wine imports from Italy have taken the lead.
According to the 2011 Wine Handbook, consumers are slowly returning to dining out. Total wine dollars grew to $26.9 billion last year with on-premise accounting for 44.1%. This is a gain of 2.5% from 2009 and a change from the previous two years when the recession directly effected on-premise sales.
"The future of the wine industry looks bright," says Eric Schmidt, manager of Information Services for the Beverage Information Group based in Norwalk, Conn. "Overall wine consumption is expected to increase over the next five years to 321.9 million cases."
From the August 10, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.