Sparkling sparkles in US

US consumption of imported sparkling wine will reach new heights in 2012 due to the increased penetration of prosecco and cava, says Wine Intelligence. 

According to The USA Sparkling Wine Report 2012, over 30 million Americans say they drink sparkling wine at least once a year and about 9 million – mostly females - say they like to drink sparkling at least once a week.

Of the survey’s respondents, 19% said they would be drinking more sparkling wine in 2012, versus 3% who said they would drink less.

Wine Intelligence has also cited data released in December by Symphony IRI that shows 2011 volumes for sparkling wine in the US grew to about 36 million bottles - an increase of 9.3% on 2010.

The wine research specialist attributes the trend to a broadening of the consumer base, a greater range on offer and an increasing desire among some consumers to make sparkling wine a regular treat.

Prosecco, said the report, has been growing rapidly in popularity and is drunk at least once every two months by a quarter of the sparkling wine drinking population – a similar figure to that of champagne.

The research furthered that cava is also enjoying a surge in popularity – albeit from a lower base – having benefited from an interest in Spanish cuisine.

Erica Donoho, USA country manager for Wine Intelligence, said: “In a country, where the wine category is seeing exciting growth, it’s quite apt that the sparkling wine section is the jewel in this particular crown.

“It’s important to remember that Americans still don’t drink that much sparkling wine compared with consumers in other developed countries like Germany and the UK, but we can see a strong long-term growth trend establishing for domestic and particularly mid-priced imported sparkling wines in the years ahead.”