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Consumer Trends: U.S Wine Industry Growth is Sparkling

Imported sparkling wines continued to gain momentum in 2012 and ongoing growth is expected in 2013. With a 6.4 percent volume increase in 2012, imported sparkling wines outpaced domestic sparkler growth (3.7 percent), according to a new report.

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) — Imported sparkling wines continued to gain momentum in 2012 and ongoing growth is expected in 2013, with wines from Italy and Spain leading the charge. In fact, with a 6.4 percent volume increase in 2012, imported sparkling wines outpaced domestic sparkler growth (3.7 percent), according to the recently-released 2013 WineTAB report from Technomic. The report is part of Technomic's Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) series and online DRINK database.

Much of the excitement and momentum in the market is around Italian wines, which accounted for 63.7 percent of total imported sparkling wine volume, an increase from 59.8 percent in 2011. Six of the top 10 imported sparkling wine brands hail from Italy, and four achieved double-digit volume gains: Mionetto, Bartenura, Raspberry Sparkletini and LaMarca. Imports of Spanish sparkling wine also grew, increasing 4.8 percent in 2012. Several brands of cavas and sparkling Moscatos achieved volume gains, including Segura Viudas and Opera Prima.

"Italian and Spanish sparklers hit a triple play: they're accessible in terms of both flavor profile and price and they're versatile," says Donna Hood Crecca, Senior Director at Technomic. "Consumers and bartenders alike are embracing these wines and using them in new and different ways in cocktails and across a range of occasions."

More than a quarter of consumers report ordering sparkling wines in bars and restaurants once a month or more often, according to WineTAB. Greater visibility may be contributing to consumer orders. The incidence of Proseccoon on menus at leading chain restaurants, for example, is growing. Inclusion of the Italian sparklers in specialty cocktails on leading chain restaurant drink menus increased 9.8 percent and their appearance on wine lists grew 12.6 percent in the first six months of 2013 as compared with the same period in 2012, according to Technomic's MenuMonitor.

Spanish cavas' visibility on leading chain restaurant menus is also growing, with the wines appearing in cocktails ranging from Bellinis to Mojitos and earning space on sparkling wine lists. Overall, the incidence of cavas on leading chain restaurants increased 28.0 percent in the first six months of this year.

Several wine marketers are expanding their imported sparkling wine portfolios and strengthening marketing support for these wines. "The Wine Group's recent partnership with Gancia Sparkling Wine and Bacardi's celebration of the Martini label's 150th anniversary are among the activities that will continue to draw attention to imported sparklers," says Crecca. "In addition, our WineTAB report shows that advertising support for sparkling wine overall increased in 2012, and our tracking indicates the trend is continuing in 2013. This category is setting a course for continued expansion."

The 2013 WineTAB Report provides in-depth national volume and sales information on wine categories, brands and companies, as well as consumer insights, all presented with expert analysis and forecasting. New in the report this year are extensive wine advertising metrics.

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