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Annual retail volume growth in the key global wine markets is forecast to plateau in 2015. This, however, is an improvement on the decline in 2014 and 2013. The renaissance of the Chinese wine market – which has shown encouraging signs in 2015 – is a key driver behind this improved performance, and wine sales are expected to grow by double-digits in Vietnam, Malaysia and India.

This reflects how Asia is key to wine’s future, but wine’s growth in this region will not happen overnight, with many countries very new to wine and needing time to develop a proper wine culture so that wine becomes an everyday option for consumers in the same way as beer and spirits.

Wine growth remains positive in the US, which continues to be the key global wine market, one that now has a fairly well developed wine culture but still offers further growth potential. However, growth in core Western European wine markets such as UK, France and Italy remains sluggish. In these mature European markets and in North America, open-minded Millennials (defined here as those who are legal drinking age up to 34 years-old) are helping to shape very new wine drinking habits.

This younger cohort has enthusiastically embraced sparkling wines, including but not restricted to Champagne. This means that Prosecco continues to expand its global reach, overtaking Champagne and now developing strongly in the US. Wine spritzers are also seeing a comeback, and sparkling Moscato is continuing to prove a strong seller in the US.

This sweet tooth younger generation is also driving the fast growth of fruit-infused wines or sweeter wine-based mixes. Such innovation may be a turn off to older, experienced wine drinkers but it is helping to recruit younger drinkers and provide an easier entry level into a complex category. Sales have been particularly strong in the more mature markets of France, Germany and the UK, and this product is also seeing popularity in North America. This type of innovation is key to unlocking growth in developed markets, while producers continue their long-term efforts to educate consumers in emerging markets.  

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