Big Vintners Face Challenges as Market Growth Slows

Mar 17, 2019

(WB) - Shifting market conditions mean the wine industry needs to meet consumers where they’re at, according to the latest data from market research firm Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates.

The top three California vintners – E. & J. Gallo, Wine Group and Constellation Brands – saw shipments into markets across the U.S. drop 5% in 2018, GFA editor Jon Moramarco told industry members during a March 14 webinar. The data is from the Gomberg Fredrikson Report’s overview of industry data from 2018, set for release next week.

“Below $9 you’re seeing slow declines,” Moramarco said, with the exception being 3-liter box wines. “The big three really drive a lot of that market and control a lot of that market.”

The challenges aren’t limited to California.

Altria Group Inc., owner of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Washington, recently declared its Columbia Crest brand fully impaired to the tune of $54 million on account of a sharp decline in the $7-$10 price segment. All told, shipped approximately 8.2 million cases in 2018, down 3.3% from 2017.

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