2021 has been an interesting year for the global wine industry. While overall production was down, consumption is on the increase. What’s more, the emerging trends and forecasts for the coming year look promising.
Keep reading as we take a look at wine industry statistics, trends, and forecasts for 2021 and 2022.
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The General State of Global Wine
In an interview with Forbes, International Organisation of Wine & Vine (OIV) director general Pau Roca said that global wine production decreased by 4% in 2021. However, the first six months of the year saw a 9% increase in global wine consumption, compared to 2020.
Statista shed further light on the state of the industry. According to the statistics website, wine segment revenue reached an incredible US$306,195 million in 2021 – and the market’s predicted to grow by 10.15% annually between 2021 and 2025. Most of that revenue was generated in the United States, where revenue reached $51,347 million. The average volume per person was estimated at 3.3 litres in 2021.
A closer look at the statistics revealed striking differences in wine production rates in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Northern and Southern Hemisphere Wine Production
The northern hemisphere, particularly Europe, is the traditional stronghold of wine production. However, in 2021, various factors resulted in a sharp decrease in production, while wine-producing countries in the southern hemisphere reported increases in production.
According to Roca, France, home to most of the world’s most prestigious wines, saw production plummet by 27%. The OIV director general described this as some of the lowest volumes recorded in the country. Greece’s wine production fell by 26%, while Spain’s decreased by 14% and Italy’s decreased by 9%. Extreme weather such as hail and frost, as well as mildew that affected the grape harvest, were among the reasons for the decrease in production.
It wasn’t all bad news from the northern hemisphere. Roca said that production in Romania and Georgia increased by 27% and 22% respectively, albeit from a lower base. Grape production in the US increased by 6%, while Russia’s increased by a mere 2%.
The figures from the southern hemisphere were far more encouraging, where overall production in 2021 increased by 23%.
Roca elaborated that Brazil’s wine production increased by 60%, Australia’s and Chile’s both increased by 30%, Argentina’s increased by 16%, and South Africa’s grew by 7%. New Zealand was the only southern hemisphere that did not increase production. Instead, extreme frost in spring led to the island nation’s production falling by 19%.
Positives and Negatives
Roca also highlighted a few positive and negative points regarding the global wine industry, from dry red wine to moscato wine and many other wines. One of the positives to come out of 2020 and 2021 was the industry’s big, fast turn toward e-commerce in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He explained that, while wine has only a 14% share of the global beverage market, it boasted a 40% share of online sales. Another positive element in 2021 was the recovery of global wine tourism. Figures are fast approaching normality after dropping by a massive 70% during the first year of the pandemic.
International trade has more than recovered, as 2021’s figures are better than those before the pandemic. Volume increased by 4% and value increased by 6%, compared to 2019. The past six months of 2021 saw export volume increase by 9% and value increase by 21%, compared to the second half of 2020.
Climate change was the worst negative factor to affect the global wine industry in 2021. Roca said that extreme weather patterns in Europe negatively impacted most wine producing countries in Europe. Those most severely affected were France, Italy, and Spain, which traditionally are the world’s largest wine producers – those three countries usually produce approximately 45% of the world’s wine including the best white wines.
Our response to climate change is not the only area in which there is room for improvement. Roca pointed out that organic wine production also could be improved, as global organic wine production is only at 6%.
The UK’s Leading Wine Brands
Wine production is one thing, but consumption is quite another. According to Statista, the UK’s five leading brands and their retail sales revenue in 2021 include:
- Hardys – £138.9 million
- I Heart – £82.8 million
- Yellow Tail – £79.4 million
- Barefoot – £76.9 million
- Casillero Del Diablo – £69.9 million
Trends and Forecasts
GlobalData’s beverages analyst, Holly Inglis said that new wine trends and consumption habits will be shaped by several factors. Among them are climate change-related crop damage, supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer attitudes towards drinking.
The analyst predicted that those trends and habits will support the steady growth of the market, which should increase at a compound annual growth rate of 1.2% by 2026.
According to Inglis, the biggest drivers in innovation will be health consciousness, sustainability, and good old indulgence. It comes down to consumers wanting products that harmonise with their values without conceding taste.
The research firm’s Q2 2021 consumer survey revealed that 34% of global consumers are attracted by ingredients that have been sourced ethically and sustainably.
Inglis also predicts the following trends will play an important role in the wine industry in 2022:
Healthier options: A growing number of consumers want healthier, sustainable options – in wine terms, this refers to biodynamic, organic, or sustainable options, each of which has its own regulations and certification boards.
Portion-control cans: Initially billed as an option for wine on-the-go, canned wine is now being appreciated as a method of portion control. According to Inglis, the trend is set to continue, as cans make it easier to count alcohol consumption units as well as calories. The firm’s survey found that 38% of respondents are trying to reduce the amount of sugar they consume. 33% of respondents said they were trying to reduce their calorie consumption.
Low or no ABV: A growing number of consumers are choosing moderation; a trend that’s taking the form of higher demand for wines with low or no alcohol by volume (ABV).
CBD infusion: Although cannabidiol (CBD) infusions have generally been limited to beer and spirits, it’s a trend that we may see emerging in the wine industry – not that it hasn’t already happened. A small but growing number of wine producers have already experimented successfully with CBD-infused wines. Among them are California’s CannaVines, Rebel Coast Wineries, and Greenway Wines, as well as Texas’ CBD Vines.
Easier-to-understand categories: According to Beverage Dynamics, another trend will be the simplifying of the broad and complex wine category to make it less intimidating and more accessible to Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Interesting and Exciting Times Ahead
Between climate change, the growth of southern hemisphere wines, and various emerging trends, the global wine industry is headed for interesting and exciting times.
We can’t wait to see where this takes one of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverages.