The chart itself tells the story. Kiwi wine imports in US market in value terms have been rising steadily since 2012. For the first time in 2016, pricey Kiwi wines are beating the less expensive Australian exports in the crucial US market. As per statistics from ‘Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates’, the premier wine industry data provider, the value of New Zealand wine exports increased by 11% in 2016, to USD 400 million. Australian shipments dropped by 8%, to USD 350 million approx. The exports beat Australian earnings for the first time. This is a clear indication of the Americans starting to prefer good-quality NZ wines.
With a sudden preference over Kiwi wines, which are known for their fresh, fruity and delicate characteristics, the American drinker seems to be more selective than ever. New Zealand is reaping the benefit of pushing quality wines at much higher prices in the American market, which offers plenty of profit-making potential. NZ exports to the United States have doubled in the last five years. This makes the country the largest market for companies like Constellation brands. Constellation Brands Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is the best seller.
Financial services company Rabobank’s analyst Marc Soccio was quoted as saying that the newer American generations have grown up around wine, are more comfortable with it, and hence, they are moving to pricier varieties more quickly than ever. He said that these trends are being taken advantage of by the New Zealand wine industry.
The amount of NZ wine exports rose by 14% in 2016, while the Australian fell by 11% .
New Zealand’s key exports in the international market are meat and dairy products. The island nation’s limited capacity of producing wines means that its deliveries are limited too, causing the Kiwi wine industry to target quality over quantity. The seventh-biggest importer in the US market by volume, the country is already the third-largest in terms of value. 7.3 million cases of wine were imported into the US the last year. It has been NZ’s biggest wine market for two years now. The Australian deliveries, on the other hand, were 16.7 million cases.
It’s time that Australia follows New Zealand’s example, and pushes its high-value premium wines more aggressively in the American market.