Until a few years ago, Americans were still considered soft-drink, beer and hard liquor drinkers, thanks to a long tradition of brewing and homemade liquors. The latest figures available from the American wine industry seem to indicate a drastic change in this pattern:
- Fortune Brands, maker of Jim Beam and Canadian Club, suffered a 41 percent tumble in its profits. Is it because they sold their very profitable wine division a few months ago and missed on the new trend?
- UST, maker of Skoal and Copenhagen, saw the profit of its wine division, owner of premium labels Stag’s Leap and Conn Creek, increase by 25%.
- Constellation Brands, the world’s biggest wine company by volume, saw its first-quarter profit jump by 50 percent, aided by its high-margin labels Clos du Bois and Wild Horse.
- Brown-Forman saw its sales of wines, including Fetzer and Bolla labels, rise 1.3%.
Does it mean wine is not the elit’s drink as in a few years ago? Are Americans becoming more comfortable about buying wine? This is a very reassuring trend for the American wine industry.