UK consumers prefer American wines

by Eve Resnick on December 16, 2008

in General

Bad news for the French wine industry: for the first time ever, UK consumers drank more American wines than French wines. According to, “Sales of American wine in the off-trade grew 5% to £781m in the year to November, while French wine sales fell 3% to £780m.”

Why is that? Americans know how to market their wines because they listen to their consumers and figure out what they like. France knows how to make wonderful wines but don’t know how to market them. Proof? France is the very first producer of rosé wines in the world with the famous rosé de Provence. Again according to, “Crucial to the success of US wines is Californian rosé, which has become a hit with women in Britain. Sales of rosé went up by 17% in the year to October. French rosé has done badly, slipping by 9% in volume and 5% in value”.

{ 1 comment }

1 Wink Lorch December 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm

It is not just that the Americans are better at marketing, it is that their business structures are much, much larger than French equivalents, and therefore they are much more willing to take part in massive promotional price drives in the supermarkets. For the vast majority of British wine consumers, it is price that drives their choice of wine, with recognition or familiarity of the brand only in 2nd place. The huge New World brand owners (including those of the leading American rosés) must shift stock to keep afloat and therefore they do the deals. Whether these deals will continue now that the UK government is attempting to get rid of them in a bid to combat binge drinking remains to be seen.

Trust me ‘serious’ UK wine drinkers are actually turning more and more (or in the case of older consumer returning increasingly) to French wines, but it will take a long while for this to be reflected in the statistics.

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