The infographics below are derived from data contained in
BMC's DrinkTell™ Database with Market Forecasts


"That market is poised to explode!" But is it really? Whether we're brand marketers or analysts of wine, beer, and spirits consumption we're occasionally prone to hopeful hyperbole and hypotheses formulated from wishful thinking. For years the Gin market was "about to explode." For a while, Absinthe was the next growth industry. Recently, we saw a column suggestively titled Is Mezcal the New Bourbon? Really? And for as long as we can remember, respected wine consultants and sommeliers have enthused regarding the about to happen lift-off of Greek wine or wines from the Georgian Republic, or Portugal or New Zealand.

That's not knocking predictions or predictors or right-on spottings of interesting trends - say, the growth of blended wines or flavored whiskeys. But doesn't it seem like some predictions are, uhm, premature? Or don’t make sense? We wondered whether DrinkTell™ would help us winnow the wheat from the chaff here. We took a look at some of the ways the database numbers might inject perspective. Gin first. We compared year-over-year Gin growth compared to Vodka growth from 2011 versus 2010 out to 2020. The last four years are forecasts.

Gin vs. Vodka
YOY Growth
2011 - 2020

The point is Gin never grew - it just sometimes lost less. Vodka consumption growth tailed off (to great fanfare) but it always grew. Our opinion is that it wouldn't have made sense, except as an act of faith, that Gin would grow as dramatically as adherents of that proposition thought.

We admit that we're looking in a rearview mirror. "it's tough to make predictions," Yogi Berra said sagely, "especially about the future." That shouldn't stop us from trying. For one thing, it's too much fun. But sometimes predictions may be based on hope rather than informed reflection.

On the other hand, DrinkTell™ seems to tell us that some popular predictions regarding wine imports have been more right than wrong, up to a point. The minor caveat is that in some instances several years of significant growth have been matched by ensuing decline. We started with a close up. Looking at quarterly YOY movement over a five year period (2012-2016) we see Georgian wine did really take off mid-2015, New Zealand imports have been burgeoning for

Wine Imports
YOY Quarterly Growth

almost the entire period, Portuguese wine hasn't set any fires but growth has been pretty good - as five years ago we were being told it would be. Wine from the Hellenic Republic, however, after big gains in U.S. distribution a couple of years ago seems to have relapsed.

Wine Imports
YOY Annual Growth

A column format with annual data adds some additional insight into what DrinkTell™ confirms. Georgia has soared, Greece has crashed, New Zealand - when you look at volume growth is a juggernaut. U.S. imports of New Zealand wines grow from about 41 million liters in 2012 to 66 million last year.

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