It says they are buying more wine costing more than US$15 per bottle, as growing consumer confidence and increasing switching from other drinks continues to drive the US wine market.
The conclusions are contained in the global wine industry research consultancy’s latest report, Premium Wine Drinkers in the US Market 2014.
Premium wine drinkers in the US, those drinking wine at least once a week and typically spending more than $15 a bottle for wine to drink at home - account for 26% of the wine drinking population, but a significant 56% of the total spend, according to Wine Intelligence.
The 23 million consumers who can be described as ‘premium drinkers of wine’ buy four in every 10 wine bottles sold in the US market, the report claims.
The boom in sales of upscale wines means that it no longer makes sense to think of premium consumers as one single group, Wine Intelligence argues. Instead, it has divided them into three segments: Popular Premiums, Super Premiums and Ultra Premiums.
WI COO Richard Halstead said: “The American wine market is evolving quickly and we don’t expect the growth to slow down. Premium wine drinkers are the group that all wine marketers want to target, and there are commonalities that exist between these consumers. But there are significant differences that the wine industry needs to grasp.”
As a whole, premium wine drinkers are statistically more likely to be male than female, and to attach more importance to a wine’s provenance than is the case with wine consumers as a whole.
The report is said to provide detailed analysis of all three segments and highlights the differences that exist in terms of how each group buys and consumes wine, and the influences that affect those decisions.
Halstead adds: “The USA remains one of the most exciting markets for wine and the potential for growth is huge. Premium wine drinkers are driving that growth. These are naturally inquisitive and experimental set of consumers and their tastes and habits will shape the market over the coming decade and beyond.”
Premium Wine Drinkers in the US Market 2014 is priced at: £4,000/€4,800/US$6,600/AUS$7.