According to GuestMetrics, based on its POS database of more than $8 billion in sales, despite the consumer base in the United States remaining under significant economic pressure, the wine category in on-premise displayed a strong premiumization trend in 2012.
“In analyzing the four price segments within the wine category, the top two segments gained share at the expense of the bottom two in 2012,” says Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC. “Based on our data, in comparing the change in share of the wine category in 2012 versus the prior year, the Ultra Premium segment gained 180 basis points in 2012 and the Super Premium segment gained about 40 basis points, while the Popular Premium and Economy segments each lost about 110 basis points of share. As we wrote about back in January, consumers traded down from wine-by-the-bottle to wine-by-the-glass, but despite this trend, they actually traded up to more expensive wines.”
“Specifically looking at the roughly 60 percent of sales in the wine category that comes from wine sold by the glass, Ultra Premium gained nearly 2 points of share and Super Premium about 1.5 points of share at the expense of the less expensive price segments,” says Peter Reidhead, VP of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics. “Conversely, looking at the 40 percent of sales that comes from wine sold by the bottle, the Ultra Premium segment gained even more share, about 2.5 points.” Based on data from GuestMetrics, given the large differential in pricing across the four segments, while Ultra Premium makes up approximately 7 percent of units sold in both wine-by-the-glass and wine-by-the-bottle, it now accounts for 12 percent of total sales by the glass and nearly 22 percent of sales by the bottle.
“In our minds, this underscores the importance of restaurant operators having an up-to-date understanding of the economic pressures the consumer is facing and the trade-offs they are making to deal with those pressures,” says Brian Barrett, president of GuestMetrics. “Even though consumers are currently purchasing wine more often by the glass instead of by the bottle, it is important restaurants offer an attractive assortment of high-end wines to meet consumers’ evolving tastes.”