Data and analysis as seen in the Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report are great tools in understanding the past, present and future of the channel. With a dynamic market of changing rules, requirements and customer preferences, using data to understand what has changed, the current trends and new market predictions can help influence data-driven business decisions. ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics released mid-year updates on how the DtC channel is doing so far in 2019. Notably, channel growth is slowing with an overall volume shipped increase of 4.6 percent and value shipped increase of 7.1 percent — both smaller than last year’s mid-year report and below a 7-year average, varietal popularity is changing with Rosé faltering, average bottle price is steadily increasing, and ship-to states have seen some rapid changes due to new regulations.
Washington and Oregon regions continue to grow
Since January, Washington has had the largest increase in volume shipped year-over-year, with 13.7 percent followed by Oregon with a volume increase of 9.2 percent. California remains the largest state for wine shipping but the growth has begun to slow as people are buying from other states aforementioned, like Oregon and Washington.
Cabernet Sauvignon holds strong, Rosé no longer a top performer
After its eight-year growth trajectory, Rosé has decreased in popularity — going from a top performer to one of the weakest with only a 1.2 percent increase in value shipped. The top 5 varietals have held strong: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir now account for 45 percent of the total volume of wine shipped DtC. Cabernet Sauvignon remains a top seller and has some of the highest growth in the overall channel with a 12.2 percent increase in value through mid-year.
Performance of winery by annual case production continues to shift
There have been shifts to the annual case production segments that are experiencing the most growth. Wineries in the medium segment, shipping 50,000 to 499,000 cases annually, had the largest increase in volume, at 10.6 percent, and also had the second largest value increase with 14.1 percent, contrasting last year’s mid-year report where they saw the smallest growth. The largest value increase was 25.3 percent and took place in the large winery segment — those producing 500,000+ cases annually. After the huge value increase last year, wineries producing fewer than 1,000 cases annually decreased average value shipped by 14.2 percent.
Ship-to states like Oklahoma, Idaho and Oregon see growth
As expected, Oklahoma had a huge increase in volume with their state opening to DtC shipping Oct. 1, 2018. The state has seen 180 percent increase in value and 190 percent increase in volume of wine shipped. Idaho and Oregon also went up in average value of shipment by 19 percent and Arkansas — with onsite orders only — experienced an 18 percent value increase.
California is still the largest state in volume and value when it comes to wine shipping. According to our mid-year findings, California is 3.5 times larger by value than the second largest state, Texas. In fact, California by value is larger than the second through sixth next largest states combined.
Average bottle price increases for Sangiovese and Moscato
Sangiovese is about the middle of the pack when it comes to average bottle price (ABP) but showed most growth in value with 19 percent year-over-year. Moscato has seen the second-highest growth of 14 percent since January despite having the lowest ABP— roughly half of the second lowest priced varietal. Petite Sirah had the largest decrease in ABP with 13 percent.
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