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Mr. Sauvez’s annual report on direct-to-consumer wine shipments shows historic volume growth of 27%, with customers benefiting from lower prices and online convenience under COVID-19 restrictions.

(BOSTON) 25. Jan 2021 – Despite a nationwide pandemic that closed tasting rooms and reduced in-person sales for much of last year, U.S. wineries shipped more than $3.7 billion worth of wine directly to consumers in 2020, according to the latest Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Wine Shipments Report from Sovos ShipCliant and Wines Vines Analytics. Consumers have significantly increased the amount of wine shipped directly from cellars, resulting in the largest annual increase in annual shipments ever recorded.

However, the record 8.39 million cases of wine shipped to consumers in 2020 – up 27% from 2019 – was accompanied by a smaller increase in the value of the channel, up just 14.9% from the $3.2 billion sold in 2019. And as consumers turned to cheaper options, the average price per bottle for DtC deliveries fell 9.5% to $36.83 per bottle, the largest annual price drop on record.

By 2020, the DtC chain has become truly indispensable for wineries forced to close their tasting rooms and give up traditional sales because of COWID-19. In terms of volume, DtC orders grew rapidly at the start of the pandemic and continued at higher levels through the year, according to Larry Cormier, vice president and general manager of Sovos Ship, a Sovos-eligible company. Unlike previous trends, cost has been a major factor in increasing sales as consumers have switched to cheaper wines in the face of economic uncertainty.

In general, the variants and regions with the lowest average prices per bottle shipped show the strongest volume growth compared to the previous year. For example, the three regions with the lowest average price per bottle shipped – Sonoma, U.S. vineyards off the West Coast, and lesser-known California wine counties like Mendocino – accounted for 53.1% of total wine shipments in 2020.

Regions with cheaper wines have a big lead in the global DtC market by 2020. Yet every region has benefited from DtC shipments, which have gained new importance as a means of making up for lost face-to-face sales, said Andrew Adams, editor of Wines Vines Analytics. Despite the encouraging growth of the DtC market, we cannot ignore the huge drop in visits to cellars and tasting rooms, the long-term impact of which is yet to be fully seen.

Other notable trends described in the 2021 report on wine intended directly for consumers include the following

  • Initial successes in the response to the pandemic have been translated into sustained momentum of the SDGs By the end of 2020: The last quarter of 2020 saw a steady and significant increase in shipments compared to 2019, with a steady decline in the average price per bottle shipped, as consumers continue to look for a good price on wine.
  • Sonoma achieved the largest volume increase: With 724,076 cases shipped in 2020, Sonoma wineries accounted for 40.6% of total TTP shipments, although Sonoma only accounted for 31.6% of total TTP shipments. On the other hand, the more expensive regions of Napa Valley and Oregon were less successful than the overall wine supply chain.
  • Large wineries continue to gain market share in the production ofdistillate wine: The largest U.S. wineries, which provide the cheapest wines each year, have historically benefited from the price pressure in 2020. The average price per bottle shipped was down 17.3%, but wine was shipped 54.7% more than in 2019. These large wineries now account for 18.2% of total DtC mail order volume, up from 5.5% in 2015.
  • Cheaper variants ofprevailed: Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel remain the top five wines shipped in 2020. However, cheaper varieties such as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Riesling and white blends are well ahead of the Channel with volume growth of 32-45%. Across all types of wine, the average price per bottle increased 41.6%, from $30 or less.

The mandatory pickup order has allowed many consumers in 2020 to discover the convenience of buying wine online. In the comfort of their own homes and without being bound by the walls and shelves of stores, consumers could enjoy a wide selection of wines from different regions, explains Danny Brager, alcoholic beverage consultant. The genie is out of the bottle now. The lasting impact of e-commerce is expected to continue through 2021, as more and more wineries invest in digital marketing and direct-to-consumer delivery, both to offset the limitations of face-to-face tourism and visits and to maximize their points of contact with consumers.

The Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipment Report is an annual collaboration between Sovos SudSoft and Wines Vines Analytics that examines trends in wine shipments from wineries to U.S. consumers. The data included comes from DtC’s algorithm for measuring total shipments, based on millions of anonymous direct shipments filtered by ShipCompliant, combined with extensive data from Wines Vines Analytics on US vineyards.

To download the full report on shipping wine directly to consumers and see more information and trends on DtC, visit dtcreport.com.

About Boards

Advice is designed to meet the complex challenges of digital tax transformation, with a comprehensive and interrelated offering of tax definitions, continuous transaction monitoring, tax reporting and more. The company has more than 8,000 customers, including half of the Fortune 500 companies, operating in more than 70 countries. The Sovos S1 SaaS products and proprietary platform integrate with a wide range of business applications and regulatory compliance processes. Sovos has employees throughout North America, Latin America and Europe and is owned by Hg and TA Associates. For more information, visit https://www.sovos.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

on a Sovietcompliant ship.

Sovos ShipCompliant has been a leader in automated alcohol compliance tools for over 15 years. The company offers a comprehensive suite of cloud-based solutions for wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations for direct sales and distribution on three levels. ShipCompliant solutions reduce risk, lower compliance costs, accelerate time-to-market and drive revenue growth. With 60 partner integrations, Sovos ShipCliant leads a strong ecosystem of technology partnerships that provide powerful value-added solutions. For more information, visit https://www.sovos.com/shipcompliant/ and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

On wine analysis

The Wines Vines Analytics team maintains the most accurate databases in the wine industry and provides analysis, data, information and data-based reports to help our clients develop and manage their businesses. For more information, visit www.winesvinesanalytics.com.

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