Record retail sales of Austrian wine fail to make up for on-trade slump
Domestic retail purchases of Austrian wine rose to a record high last year, accounting for 75% of revenue – but the increase of grocery and online sales failed to make up for losses in the on-trade, which fell by a third.
According to the latest figures published by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB), between January and December last year, domestic sales of Austrian wine in the on-trade wholesale channel fell by 33% compared to the previous 12 months.
In 2019, hospitality accounted for around 58% of total Austrian wine consumption but the two month closure last spring with a second lockdown in November closed one of the most important sales channels for the country’s winegrowers for a third of the year. AWMB CEO Chris Yorke said that Austria’s innkeepers had tried to keep business ticking over despite forced closures during Austira’s two lockdowns by offering deliveries and take-aways, but this had not been able to stave of “painful losses”.
Tourism was also hit hard, with sales down by a half. Domestic holidaymakers help boost summer sales in some winegrowing regions, but the effect of overnight accomodation numbers plummeting was felt strongly particularly in the cities.
“The latest figures still suggest that annual wine sales to tourists fell by almost half,” Yorke said.
Record retail sales
However, Austrian wine did see a rise in at home consumption. Purchases from multiple grocers also grew 16.4% in volume, Nielsen IQ data showed, compared to internationsl volume sales up 3.9%. The increase was equally distributed across red, white and rosé wines. Value growth rose 16.6%, reaching a record share of revenue of 74.9%, the highest market share since records began in 2000.
Meanwhile the proportion of households that exclusively bought Austrian wine up to 47.3%, the highest rate since 1997.
Ecommerce sales also grew, stats from market research institute GfK showed, with the number of people buying wine online up 48% and consumers spending almost €60 per order.
However, these increases were not enough to recoup the on-trade losses.
“Overall, we can see that the positive trends in some sales channels were not able to compensate for the huge slumps experienced through the on-trade and tourism,” Yorke said.