Status Update | DtC Wine Industry

We release our Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report in conjunction with Wines & Vines every year to provide industry members with an overview of growth and trends in the DtC market. We covered our most recent report on our blog, highlighting and dissecting some of the most notable news from 2014. This included a breakdown of growth based on the different varieties, winery sizes, and regions of shipments. These posts, and our report, offer a retrospective analysis of what’s going on in our industry.

This year, we decided to do things a bit differently. As we begin the process of collecting and analyzing the data for the 2016 report, we wanted to share some of the data we’re seeing, and explore some interesting trends in the industry.

What We’re Seeing:

Last year, the DtC market value jumped 15.5%, resulting in a $1.82 billion industry at year’s end. This growth was the most robust the industry had experienced since we began tracking the channel in 2009.

testoneWhile we don’t foresee 2015 resulting in another 15% jump of value for the DtC industry, we do predict growth, especially when we look at the quantity of wine being shipped. In 2014, growth by volume increased by 13.6%, maxing at 3.95 million cases. This year, we’re expecting that number to grow by 11.5%. On the other hand, we’re expecting value to only increase by 9.4%, inching the industry closer to the two billion benchmark.

The story here is that more folks are buying wine, but they aren’t paying as much for it.

What’s Considered for these Numbers:

These numbers aren’t based off tea leaves, cloud formations, or dust patterns. Instead, our data scientist made these predictions by combining direct-to-consumer shipping data with Wines and Vines production data.

In addition to this, there were some significant pieces of legislation that went into effect this year that we think are worth noting. The most notable news from the 2015 shipping year (so far) was the opening of direct shipping into Massachusetts, which became legal as of February 1st. We predicted in a previous post that this market would reach almost $29 million in 2015. Sadly, our predictions seem off, since through August of 2015, the value was only $12 million.

Hope isn’t lost, however. As you probably know, October, November, and December mark the busiest months for the DtC industry, as holiday gifts and cooler temperatures cause a spike in shipments. This means it is possible for the value of shipments to Massachusetts to rise, though it is unclear by how much.

Additionally, SB 113 in Indiana, resulted in increased shipping to the state. Though the Indiana market isn’t as significant as Massachusetts, its impact is still relevant.

Other legislative updates that impacted the industry this year include:

The growth the DtC industry is experiencing is consistent with the overall increase the beverage alcohol industry has seen. According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer market experienced a 22% jump in sales growth, and the overall beer market peaked at $101.5 billion in 2014.

We’re holding out for the DtC industry to end the year strong. We’re nearing closer and closer to the two billion mark, and the holiday season always holds surprises. Though we don’t believe in superstition, we’ll hang on to a rabbit’s foot, just in case.

Want to learn more about 2015 direct shipping trends? Download our Direct-to- Consumer Shipping Report!


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