The percentage of German households buying wine has dipped to 44.8% in the first half of 2023, according to data from NielsenIQ Homescan Panel, and released by the German Wine Institute (DWI) in their recent market research newsletter. This marks a decline from its peak in 2021, when more than half of German households (50.7%) purchased wine — a blip on an otherwise long-term downward trend.
German wine consumption is decreasing dramatically - according to Statista, from 102.9 L per head in 2015 to 89.4 L in 2021. In 2023 it dropped by a further 5%. In 2022 sales by volume and value decreased by 14.6% and 11.6% respectively and are continuing to fall - by 5%.
Shifting market shares
Large volume increases were recorded for Spain and Italy; they saw gains of 14.9% and 12.3% respectively, now accounting for 14.6% and 17.5% of the market volume.
By contrast, German wines have lost 6.6% in terms of volume, now accounting for 41.7% of total sales. The sales of French wines were also down, losing 5.4%; France now accounts for 10.4% of the market. New World wines suffered a 7.4% decline, resulting in a 3.9% share. Their value, however, increased by 2%.
Regardless of revenues or volume, Germany is and remains number 1 with a market share of well over 40% (45.9% and 41.7% respectively), while Italy continues in 2nd place (18.7% and 17.5%). At No. 3, however, the field is becoming narrower. Spain overtakes France in terms of volume (Spain: 14.6% / France 10.4%; in terms of value, however, France can just about maintain its 3rd place (France: 11% / Spain: 10.5%), but also suffers losses there.
When it comes to production, Germany's Federal Statistical Office is forecasting a 2023 harvest of 9.9m hectolitres. This would be 9.1% more than in the previous year and 13.3% more than the five-year average. In the last 15 years, only the 2018 vintage was larger, with 10.4m hectolitese.
However, some market players caution that the forecast should be viewed with caution. They say the impact of oidium and vinegar rot on the harvest is not yet known.