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$20+ Wines Continue To Lead Off-Premise Trading Up

The off-premise “trading up” phenomenon, as first noted by Wine Industry Insight in March, is gathering steam with wines in the $20+ price segment gaining 19.2 percent, up from their 12.6 percent gain last month.

nielsen-040310-wii-4weeks-450px2Click here for spreadsheet of this custom graphic. (VIP Subscribers)

The original analysis, interpretation and custom calculations performed by Wine Industry Insight and based on data from The Nielsen Company and the complete WII article are available to VIP Premium Subscribers. Wine Industry Insight does not sell or market data from the Nielsen Company.


According to scanner data from The Nielsen Company, higher price segments mostly dominated growth in dollar volume  for the period ending April 3, 2010.

Wines selling for an average of $24.83 per 750ml bottle were the top gainers coming despite an average price increase of $0.55 per bottle.This is the third month in a row that the $20+ segment has posted a significant gain while increasing the average price.

The $20+ segment was followed, in order by average 750ml price:

  • $12.39, up 16.8%
  • $9.93, up 15.4%
  • $4.62, up 8.0%
  • $16.19, up 8.0%
  • $6.82, up 3.3%
  • $2.23, up 3.2%


The overall gain for $20+ wines is higher than last month because Easter is in the numbers for the period ending 4-3-2010, but last year Easter was later, according to Danny Brager, The Nielsen Company’s VP Group Client Director, Beverage Alcohol Team.

“Also, in the channels where we have robust causal data (e.g displays, feature ads, temporary price reductions) we’ve also seen a reduction in the average price of $20+ wines,” Brager said. “We know that some higher-priced wines have reduced their price. If somebody bought a $40 wines and then switched to a $30 wine, that would also drive the overall price point down.

“Finally, if someone bought a fine wine outside of the Nielsen-measured universe (i.e. we didn’t capture it) and then switched to a less expensive wine (but still over $20), it will obviously show up as a gain in Nielsen-measured sales – but the reality is that it was not a gain at all,” Brager cautioned. “All that said, we think that the “trading down” period has ended, but there is a “value” aspect still attached to the growth of $20+ wines – it is not the pure, unabashed premiumization that we said in 2007 and earlier.”


The Nielsen Company spreadsheet that includes the data on which this article is based is available here for VIP Premium subscribers. Even this full spreadsheet represents just a very small fraction of that available to Nielsen clients.

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