On Friday, September 18, Chile celebrated its national Independence Day. The country’s wine exporters can also raise a glass to a recent sales turnaround: Reversing a ten-year downward trend, Chilean wines sales are up in the U.S. According to the latest import data, Chile is the seventh largest source of imported wine in the U.S., and the only one of the top seven to experience an increase in U.S. sales during the first quarter of 2020.
Wines of Chile, Year to Date
- In a comparison of year-to-year sales, Chile saw a 40.68% increase in volume, translating into a 36.57% uptick in dollars in the 12-month period concluding June 30, 2020. While bulk wines account for roughly two-thirds of that volume, bottle sales have risen by 2% in volume, and 13% in value.
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- Red wines continue to drive Chilean wine sales, led by red blends and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Chile is riding high on three “on-trend” categories: rosés, bag-in-box, and Mediterranean wines here in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020
- The country’s rosé sales have more than doubled — up 114%
- Bag-in-box exports have grown by over 19% in volume
- Mediterranean varieties like País and Carignan are not only catching the attraction of the trade and wine experts, including off-premise channels such as supermarkets
- The leading driver for Chile’s wine sales in the U.S. continues to be the country’s larger, well-established players with broad nationwide U.S. distribution, who are benefitting from consumer reliance on “tried-and-trusted,” familiar and reliable brands during the pandemic.
– The current pricing sweet spot for Chile in the U.S. is $10-$20, with the biggest growth in the $11-$15 category. According to Alonso “This is where Chile excels and demonstrates outstanding value-to-quality performance.” The Chilean category has also been able to absorb with relative ease the average 1% pricing decrease affecting domestic and imported wines in the first semester of this year.
Also of Note
– Eighty percent of Chilean wines exported are sustainable and verified as such. Notes Alonso: “Chile is a world leader in sustainability from vineyard to table and Wines of Chile has been instrumental in settings standards in this area.” The Wines of Chile Responsibility Code covers: (1) sustainable technical management of vineyards, (2) winery and bottling practices, (3) safety and social responsibility covering workers, nearby communities and even customers, and (4) Sustainable Wine Tourism, a recently launched initiative.
– 70% of Chilean wines exported to the U.S. are sold in off-premise accounts.
– In a new Wine Opinions survey, 48% of consumers who regularly spend over $20 a bottle reported an increase in their average weekly wine consumption. With great values at the $20-plus end of the spectrum, Chile looks to attract new converts.
– During COVID-19, the data also shows that the largest consumers of wine have been millennials.
While millennials drink less wine than the previous generation, when they do, they are more adventurous, and willing to try new varieties such as País.
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About Wines of Chile: The mission of Wines of Chile is to promote the quality and image of Chilean wines throughout the world. With offices in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Chile, the organization, working closely with ProChile, develops and offers promotional and educational programs. Its members represent over 75% percent of Chile’s bottled wine exports.