Last week, we released the 2019 Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipping Report with our partners over at Wines Vines Analytics. This is the ninth edition of the annual DtC report, which features exclusive data and insights on the state of the industry, and has been a trusted source for wineries looking to ship their products DtC.
The current report looks at data aggregated in 2018, and provides the most accurate look at the state of the market – including varietal trends, hot shipping destinations, production by region, and more. In last year’s report, we correctly predicted that the DtC channel would top $3 billion in 2018 and that Sonoma County would overtake Napa County as the largest source of DtC wine shipments.
How is the report created?
Wines Vines Analytics created a custom, proprietary algorithm that uses its database of U.S. wineries. Their database comprises 9,997 wineries, some holding multiple licenses. This algorithm has been trusted by the industry for nearly a decade to provide the most accurate DTC data available.
The algorithm extrapolates DtC shipments from all transactions filtered through the ShipCompliant by Sovos system in a given year. The ShipCompliant by Sovos platform processes nearly 80% of the volume of the DtC channel, or roughly 8 million individual transactions. Our report includes data for shipments to all 45 states that allowed some kind of shipping of wine in 2018. These include even states like Arkansas and Rhode Island whose DtC regulations may not yet meet the ideal system that most other states have adopted.
Highlights from the report
The DtC report has lots of important data to unpack, and you can look forward to a number of blogs doing exactly that over the next several months. The following are some of the more notable takeaways from a broad industry viewpoint.
- Consumers are splurging on wine: Wine drinkers apparently decided to treat themselves in 2018, as the average price per bottle shipped increased by the largest margin since we began producing the report. In addition, people bought more high-end wines in the DtC channel, with wines priced at $100 or more increasing 18 percent in volume.
- Oregon outpaced the market yet again: Oregon wineries have increased their DtC shipments dramatically since we began tracking this data, and 2018 was no exception. For the seventh straight year, Oregon wineries outpaced the rest of the market in terms of volume growth, with an uptick of 19 percent compared to 8.9 percent overall.
- Rosé on the risé: When we began producing the DtC report, Rosé was the least popular wine we tracked. What a difference (nearly) a decade makes! As a result of continuous year-over-year growth, Rosé has skyrocketed up to eighth, and saw a 24 percent increase in volume coupled with a 29 percent increase in value last year.
- Napa’s prices limit its growth: Long the leader of wine production, Napa County hit a bit of a stumbling block in the DtC channel in 2018. While still seeing some modest growth – a 1.6 uptick in volume of shipments – the region trailed the rest of the channel’s growth. On the flip side, the price per bottle shipped in Napa jumped up 23 percent. These price increases could prove to be a reason why Napa underperformed relative to the market.
- DtC shipments maintained their market share: Winery direct shipments accounted for 10 percent of all off-premise domestic wine retail sales, which equaled the 2017 share. Overall, total domestic off-premise wine sales reached $29.7 billion in 2018.
Be on the lookout for more blogs detailing the data and trends we identified in this year’s report. And make sure to download your copy of the 2019 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping report.