Surprisingly, our consumption has decreased over the past year

Despite all the adversities, wine consumption fell significantly in the past year. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic postponed happy hour earlier in the day, new reports show that wine consumption has dropped to its lowest level since 2002.

The International Organization for Wine and Wine (OIV) called 2020 “a year of resilience”. In a new report, they reveal that global wine consumption is down 3%, about 6.2 billion gallons of it. Wine production was also slightly below average compared to 2019.

Food & Wine reports that, according to the OIV, COVID-19 is partially responsible for these developments: “The total or partial closure of the [hospitality industry] has resulted in a loss of value and, to a lesser extent, a decline in sales, only partially offset by the increase in wine sales through e-commerce and large retailers. “

Photo by Hermes Rivera via Unsplash

They added, “Premium wine suffered the most from the closings of restaurants and tasting rooms, while large producers who owned the off-premise channel with large partner wholesalers performed well.” OIV also mentions the introduction of new trade barriers such as Brexit that also influenced wine sales.

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Despite these results, the outlook for wine sales was expected to deteriorate considering how much COVID-19 is affecting the hospitality industry. While sales in restaurants and bars declined, this was offset to a significant extent by supermarkets and liquor stores.

A closer look at the results shows that the US was the world’s leading buyer of wine, consuming around 33 million hectoliters and continuing the trend it had set in previous years. Sparkling wine (excluding Prosecco) saw a sharp drop in consumption, while box wine saw an increase.

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Box wine might not be the fanciest of wines, but it is definitely a type of container that can hold large quantities of wine at a much cheaper price. While wine sales in restaurants and bars have declined, it is clear that we still drank a lot at home, perhaps more than in years past.

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