World Wine Forecast Fair, In Spite of Economic Heat

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By Courtney Cochran

According to a study just released by The International Wine & Spirit Record, demand for wine is projected to grow roughly 6 percent to 2.8 billion cases between 2008 and 2012, a figure close to in synch with pre-recession trends.  Global production is also predicted to grow over the same period to an estimated 3 billion cases annually, an increase of approximately 3.83 percent over earlier levels.  The findings support a long-held belief that wine is more or less "recession-proof" - meaning that drinkers continue to enjoy the beverage even when spending power is down.
China, Russia Rising
The same study predicts that demand for wine in Russia and China will grow a staggering 24 percent and 37 percent, respectively, by 2012.  Drinkers in these two nations - whose economies continue to expand in spite of the global economic downturn - will account for 58 percent of the total growth in the international wine market over the same period, though the US is the nation on track to emerge as the number one wine consuming country by 2012.   

US To Become No. 1
When the US assumes the title of lead wine consumer worldwide in 2012, it will do so ahead of traditionally wine-centric nations Italy, France and Spain, who have seen per-capita consumption slide in recent years.  Italy usurped France for the title as recently as 2007, when Italians bought some 299 million cases of wine.  When the US steps into the lead in 2012, its drinkers are forecast to purchase 313 million cases - no small sum, especially given the current crisis.

Recession proof, indeed. 

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