The Rise of American Wine and Spirits on the Global Market

Originally published on MalekAmrani.com

Wine has long been thought of as an international industry with France and Italy leading the market through various flavor profiles and innovations. While global wines are still very trendy among wine consumers, another player is gearing up to make a significant impact on the industry in the years to come: The United States. The leading global wine brand is in fact American.

American wine & spirits are experiencing impressive levels of organic growth on a local and international level. In fact, if you were to look at a list of the Top 10 Most Popular Wine Brands Across The Globe, you’d notice that 50% of them are American-made.

Beringer wine out of Napa Valley is number nine on the list, and the lowest ranking of the American-made wines to make the Top 10. Robert Mondavi comes in at number seven with their headquarters in Oakville, California, followed closely by Sutter Home out of St. Helena at number six. Gallo holds steady at number three, but the number one spot is held by Barefoot Wines — a popular American company calling Modesto, California home.

Earlier this year a comprehensive research study was released on the “Global Wine Market: Industry Size, Share, Trends, Analysis and Forecast 2017–2023.” This in-depth report featured reams of useful information for anyone in the wine industry, but perhaps the most interesting section was that related to key industry players and anticipated growth.

According to the study, North America is “expected to dominate the global wine market” with an increase in U.S. grape cultivation and modern technology playing a critical role in propelling us there. Other factors include boosted consumption, lifestyle changes, and the unique economic and social standings of Generation X.

It’s important to note that it’s not just wine driving the North American catapult into beverage stardom. American-made spirits are also making moves in the global market. Consumption of spirits is expected to grow by 0.2% over the next five years with whiskey at the forefront which is excellent news for favorited American brands like Jack Daniels (Tennessee) and Bulleit (Kentucky). Christine LoCascio, Council Senior Vice President for International Affairs, states:

“American spirits, particularly whiskeys, are the toast of the global cocktail scene. International adult consumers are exploring more expensive U.S. spirits driven by their fascination with American whiskey’s heritage, as well as its mixability and versatility in cocktails.”

Not to be outdone, Tito’s vodka (Texas) overtook popular brands like Smirnoff to become the number one selling liquor in the United States in 2017 despite the fact that vodka consumption is expected to decline in coming years.

2017 also saw a record year in the exportation of American-made spirits, accounting for roughly $1.63 billion in sales. This is 14.3% higher than in 2016. The growth is primarily organic in nature, resulting from an increase in millennial purchasing power and a preference for high-end products worldwide.

To many, the rise of American wine and spirits brands seems a trend that may fade in the near future. Personally, I believe that the dominance and value longevity of American brands globally in major sectors (Apple, Coca Cola, McDonalds) is an indicator that the world’s thirst for American wine brands will keep growing for decades to come.