The association of the two countries might surprise the reader. But there is a connection between the two markets: US consumers are cutting their wine expenses – at least in restaurants – while Danes increased their wine consumption by 50% from 1995 to 2003.
Of course, the distinction is a little twisted as the Danish stats cover a period of 9 years while the US stats are very recent – in fact since the gasoline crisis. Difficult times don’t necessarily imply a slowing down in wine consuming. But the gasoline price certainly prevents people to go out as much: they buy a bottle in a store and drink it at home. “During a survey we did in May, about 50 percent of consumers told us they were going out less often; and when it came to fine dining, that number went up to 66 percent,” said Danny Brager, vice president of client service for beverage alcohol at The Nielsen Company specializing in marketing and media information, to journalist Julie Gedeon. “During a survey we did in May, about 50 percent of consumers told us they were going out less often; and when it came to fine dining, that number went up to 66 percent”. Which makes sense considering some wealthy consumers saw their stock portfolio go down by 20%!
The American wine industry doesn’t feel pressure yet but it should be careful about their price point: consumers are now switching from $15+ wines to cheaper wines – knowing they’ll get the same quality for a lower price. Higher fuel prices and the economic slump are affecting mostly on-premises sales, but people are still drinking their wine! Cheers!