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Earlier this week Xavier de Eizaguirre, Chairman of Vinexpo, was in Toronto to present the newly revamped Vinexpo program for 2015. After explaining in detail Vinexpo’s extensive plans to win back market share from the mighty Prowein and numerous other smaller wine (and spirit) trade shows, Msr. de Eizaguirre presented the findings of a the most recent report from IWSR concerning “Current Trends In International Wine and Spirits Market and Outlook to 2018”.

Good Food Revolution sat through this illustrated report and gleaned some of the key facts for those GFR readers who get quite excited by numbers. Studying data harvested from 2009 until 2013, and looking at what to expect 2014 through 2018, the figures make for some quite interesting reading of you are into such things…

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As we can see here, the USA has given a major boost to global consumption, and is predicted to continue in that fashion over the coming years. It’s interesting to note that volume consumption is dropping in all those strongholds of the old world (France, Italy, and Spain). Even the UK, traditionally a nation of boozers, has seen a downturn in alcohol consumption across the board. Huge growth in the Chinese market, as well as Russia. Dollar-wise, Canada (missing from this slide) comes in at 7th with a market valued at US$ 61 billion. Jings! That is a shedload of pricier wine for such a small populace.

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Per Capita consumption numbers show a drop in volume consumption in each of the top 10 countries bar one… Greece. I guess all those austerity measures don’t extend into the Greek wine drinking traditions?

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I guess I never realised how little white wine people drink, compared to red. Nice to see an explosion in the consumption of Rosé, always a favourite here at Good Food Revolution.

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And here are the next 10 countries in order of per capita volume consumption: again dropping numbers all around, except Sweden and Slovakia, who both show steady growth. As you can see, a bounceback is expected leading up to 2018. Most of that predicted growth in the UK is probably down to the amount of Prosecco my little sister will be drinking now that she has retired.

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Echoing some of the numbers above, we can see Europe losing market share to both the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Africa and the Middle-East coming in at a steady 3% of global consumption… interesting.

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When visiting Germany I am always mazed at just how much Sekt and other sparkling they drink, and so the numbers here didn’t surprise me too much. I guess that the Oligarch’s taste for the very best in Champagne has given a leg up to the Russian data? I’m putting the USA and UK numbers down to the recent Prosecco boom (and my sister for the latter). Goodness knows what has been going on in Belgium and Luxembourg??? Bar Germany, the traditional homes of sparkling production (France, Italy, and Spain) are all down.

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Export-wise it’s the big three again, with Italy at the top by quite some way, followed by France and then Italy. Germany still cannot win for losing, which is so very sad as they produce some cracking wines… I guess that they don’t fit the palate of today’s regular consumer. A big drop for Australia too, although I predict that changing in the Canadian market due to our weaker dollar.

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A 165% increase in imported wine volume over four years in China is really quite ASTONISHING. Producers the world over have been telling me this for years now. Nice to see Canada there at number six. At the presentation a lady asked why Canadians import so much wine and don’t drink more domestic. Xavier de Eizaguirre correctly stated that he didn’t thing that the domestic wine production was in any way large enough to cater for the populace of Canada, following up saying that he felt that Canada had many ties to Europe and therefore wines from Italy, France, Spain etc. continued to be in demand. Oh… yes, and there’s a fair bit of growth in imports to Russia and Japan too.

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If you found yourself asking WTF Baijiu is then you wouldn’t be the first. This distilled spirit is so damn popular in China that it puts all other spirits to shame in terms of world consumption. Take that stuff out of the picture and you can see that Vodka rules the roost by quite some way. Apart from Gin we can see a growth in all other spirit categories here, with substantial gains in brown sprits (brandy and bourbon).

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Nice to see wine consumption per capita steadily growing in Canada. Who says that Craft Beer is stealing away all those wine drinkers?

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Yes, Vodka is the firm leader here in Canada, with Rum not too far behind. Scotch Whisky still has some growth (I’m guessing more at the premium end), and there is huge growth in Bourbon. Personally I blame Queen West/Ossington/Dundas West for that.

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So it looks as if we are drinking more and more imported wine volume-wise… and it appears that the huge tsunami of horrible Argentinian Malbec has finally subsided, with an 18% drop in imports from that country. How are the LCBO going to fill their shelves and displays? Quite a drop on South African imports too… I put that down to too many low-end labels in the market… not enough of the good stuff. Happy to see the New Zealand imports up by almost 100%… that is really quite remarkable.

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he was missing a few slides, but he hopes that you get the picture.