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DtC Wine Shipments Pass 5 Million Cases and $2.33 Billion

February 2017
by Paul Franson

Concord, Calif.—Direct-to-consumer shipments passed 5 million cases in 2016, with value reaching $2.33 billion, Kent Nowlin, general manager of Sovos ShipCompliant, reported last month at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium held at the Concord Hilton.

The new figures were part of a preview Nowlin offered from the seventh annual DtC Wine Shipping Report, which provides a comprehensive review of direct-shipment data including sales, volume and varietal trends from the past year. The report and preview was prepared with data generated jointly by ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics.

DtC shipments have shown steady growth during the past six years, growing from less than
3 million cases in 2011 to 5.02 million in 2016. DtC shipment volume was up 17.1% from the previous year, the highest rate of growth since at least 2011.

The growth in value was even stronger, reflecting the rising price per bottle shipped. Total DtC shipments in 2011 were valued at $1.33 billion; they reached $2.33 billion in 2016, an 18.5% increase over 2015.
All wine regions saw significant increases in wine volume shipped, with Washington’s 33% increase followed by states outside the West Coast at 22%.

The overall average bottle price for DtC shipments was up from $36.56 in 2010 to $38.69 in 2016.

Since 2011, wineries in Napa and the rest of the United States enjoyed higher bottle prices, while the other regions were static or even declined. The price per bottle shipped from Napa grew from $54 to $62, while shipments from the rest of the United States grew from about $17 to $21 per bottle. Sonoma’s average DtC bottle price slid from $35 to $30 during that time.

Volume growth for direct shipments differed significantly, with Napa growing from 1 million cases to 1.53 million cases between 2011 and 2016, while Sonoma doubled its 600,000 cases to more than 1.2 million cases. Other U.S. case shipments rise from about 275,000 cases to just under 565,000 cases.

Wines selling for less than $15 grew most in market share, jumping from 15% in 2011 to 23% in 2016. This suggests larger wineries with lower priced wines are getting more active in the DtC market.

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