The United States have surpassed France for the first time ever to become the world's largest wine market. France's sales have been on the slide, while American sales are surging forward.
French people still drink more wine
According to the OIV, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, American consumers purchased a total of 29.1 million hectoliters of wine in 2013, a 0.5 % increase compared to 2012, while French consumption dropped 7 % to 28.1 million hectoliters. In total, from 2002 to 2011, the average sale per French person dropped 20 %, while the US went up nearly 17 %.
That does not mean that Americans now drink more wine than your average Frenchman: according to the latest numbers, French citizens drink 1.2 bottles of wine per week, which is 6 times higher than in the United States. America however has 300 million residents, a whole lot more than "tiny" France.
"In countries such as France, Italy and Spain, people used to drink a lot of wine, but consumption habits are changing. We [Europeans] drink less wine by volume, more quality wine. In the US, [people] have a tendency to consume more and more, notably quality wine", OIV director general Jean-Marie Aurand said.
The worldwide wine production grew 9.4 % to 279 million hectoliters in 2013 and while the volumes sold dropped 2.2%, higher prices resulted in a 1.5 % turnover increase to 25.7 billion euro.