* Wine sales in retreat at bars and restaurants
* Consumers more value-conscious since financial crisis
By Paul Casciato
LONDON, April 25 Mass retailers and the Internet
will increasingly dominate the $164 billion global wine market
at the expense of bars and restaurants, industry experts said on
A report commissioned by VINEXPO, an international wine and
spirits trade fair, also highlighted the dramatic rise of China
as a consumer of wines - mostly its own. It topped all other
countries in volume and value between 2007 and 2011.
"China is the champion," VINEXPO Chief Executive Robert
The report, "Distribution in the World and Expected Changes
by 2020", showed that in the 18 countries that drink
three-quarters of the world's wine, the key trends are rising
mass sales and a decline at corner shops, bars and restaurants.
"We will probably see corner stores disappear eventually,"
Beynat told reporters, adding that they were in decline
everywhere except China.
The report said the "off-trade", where wine is consumed away
from the premises, accounted for 71.7 percent of all volumes
worldwide. France's Carrefour and Britain's Tesco
are typical of the big retailers that lead the way in
Just over three in four Chinese buy wine in hypermarkets,
compared with two-thirds in France and 46 percent in Germany.
The fast-growing Chinese market also topped online sales,
with 27 percent of consumers sometimes buying wine this way.
Japan, Brazil and Britain were just behind.
The report predicted 47 percent of Chinese would buy wine on
the Internet by 2020. Japan, Britain, Australia and Germany
would also see a rising online trend, but Internet sales would
stagnate in France and Russia.
Beynat suggested that the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing
global economic malaise had made consumers much more conscious
of value for money, hitting the "on-trade" in wines, bars and
restaurants, where prices are higher than in stores or online.
Richard Halstead of Wine Intelligence, the research group
that produced the report, said new innovations were emerging in
One is "consumer risk reduction", a strategy to classify
wines more simply by taste, type and food-matching to make it
easier for consumers to avoid mistakes when they buy.
Another is the drive to connect drinkers with winemakers -
exemplified by Britain's Naked Wines, whose customers choose
which makers to buy from and even how they blend their wines in
VINEXPO 2013 takes place in Bordeaux, France, from June 16
to 20. Featuring 2,400 exhibitors from 45 countries, it is
expected to draw 48,000 visitors from 135 countries.