Nearly 2 billion more bottles of wine will be consumed in the world between 2010 and 2015. In 2010, total world wine consumption reached 2.640 billion 9-liter cases, equivalent to 31.68 billion bottles, a 4.5 percent increase compared to 2006, according to research commissioned by VINEXPO from International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR).

The VINEXPO/IWSR study, among 114 consumer markets and 28 producer countries, forecasts an increase in the consumption growth rate of 6.17 percent between 2010 and 2015, reaching 2.844 billion cases, an increase of 2.04 billion bottles, by the end of the period.

U.S. consolidates world wine leadership

The United States — already the leading market in terms of wine retail sales — has also become the largest market by volume. With consumption reaching 311.3 million 9-liter cases, equivalent to 3.735 billion bottles in 2011, the U.S. became the largest wine consumer market in the world. It beat Italy and France into second and third largest wine markets respectively in 2011.

The VINEXPO/IWSR five-year forecasts indicate that U.S. wine consumption should continue to grow by 10 percent between 2011 and 2015.

China joins the world’s top five wine markets

In just one year between 2009 and 2010, wine consumption, including still, light and sparkling wines grew by 33.4 percent in China, Hong Kong included. Chinese consumption reached 156.19 million 9-liter cases in 2011, putting China in fifth place in the top five wine-consuming nations worldwide, ahead of the U.K.

In the five-year period from 2006 to 2010, Chinese wine consumption, including Hong Kong, grew 2.4 times larger. The VINEXPO study forecasts a further 54.25 percent rise between 2011 and 2015.

By then, Chinese consumers should be drinking an average of 1.9 to 2 liters of wine per capita per year. By comparison, French and Italian average yearly consumption per adult is expected to be around 50 liters by 2015. Americans should be consuming an average of 13 liters per capita per year by the same date. China is the sixth largest wine-producing country in the world and the eighth largest importer by volume.

World consumption is stimulated by international trade

Almost one bottle out of four (26.2 percent) consumed somewhere in the world is imported and the market for imported wines is growing twice as fast as that for “domestic” wines. Between 2006 and 2010, the volumes of imported wines consumed grew by 7.83 percent, reaching 639 million cases by the end of the period.

Asia-Pacific consumes the most spirits in the world

The popularity of local spirits makes Asia-Pacific the leading spirits-consuming region in the world with an overall market share of 59 percent ahead of the Americas with only 15 percent. China is the largest spirits-consuming country in the world. In Europe the consumption of spirits fell by 1.38 percent between 2006 and 2010, while Asia-Pacific saw growth of 59.28 percent and the American continent saw growth of 3.22 percent.