The first ever Wine Intelligence USA Direct-to-Consumer Report finds a sector enjoying good sales growth despite the thicket of regulation that both retailer and consumer must deal with to transact in this channel. However, the total direct-to-consumer wine sector accounts for only 1 bottle in 50 sold in the US wine market, far lower than the sector’s penetration in other markets.
The report estimates that some 30 million affluent American wine drinkers have bought wine directly – from a winery tasting room, via an online retailer or through a mail order club – in the past six months. Yet among this segment, who drink wine at least once a month and earn more than USD 60,000 a year, only a fifth use direct channels on a monthly basis and just 7% use an online wine retailer every month.
According to the report, the main growth over the next decade will come from a growing habit of buying wine online, and from a significant increase in interest from younger, highly involved wine drinkers – often called “Millennials” – for whom e-commerce is second nature.
Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence, said: “What’s encouraging about this report is the reach that the direct-to-consumer channel has in the US market. However, it’s also clear that there is a lot of unfulfilled potential, particularly in getting users who are comfortable buying in one direct channel to reach across and buy using other direct mechanisms.”