Thursday, January 06, 2005

So what's next?

Now that Diageo has bought Chalone and Constellation has picked up Mondavi, what's next on the global wine-industry acquisition front? I'm putting my money on Southcorp and Beringer, and if Diageo is as intent as they seem on building a larger wine portfolio, I'm betting that they pick up Beringer from Foster's or maybe Southcorp.

What's all this mean for the average consumer? Well, see my article on
mid-sized California wineries. Ultimately, for those in large wine markets (i.e. when you go into your local chain store, you can select from two dozen Chardonnays) this may lead to fewer buying options. If you can plan ahead and buy directly from your favorite supplier, you can improve your odds (provided you live in one of the states where it is legal to ship wine), but long-term it will also make it harder on small import brands as well. Finding Tim Adam's - "The Fergus", for example, will be next to impossible.

The US wine market plods along each year at 3% consumption growth, as corporations and big wineries continue to grow their sales at greater than 3% (in volume), that excess growth has to come at somebody else's expense. This issue is key to understanding the future of the US wine industry, IMO, and unless we can do more to increase consumption above 3% growth (and the potential growth is mind-blowing, see my "wine wenches" article or a follow-up at VineSugar) this will continue to negatively affect our options as consumers. On the plus side, this consolidation should provide continued price relief, as long as you don't mind giving up selection....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Diageo will create a Captain Morgans-esque campaign for their new wines.

Diageo... the dorkiest company ever.

January 07, 2005 2:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home