Despite the fact that many Americans have cut back discretionary spending, sales of 3 liter (3L) premium wine casks - better known to some as "boxed wine" - showed double digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a new Nielsen study.
With a growth rate of 32 percent in the last 13 weeks of 2008, premium wine casks outpaced all other wine categories, and there remains room for significant growth going forward.
On a full year basis, premium wine casks grew 31 percent, compared to 4.4 growth for table wine, the dominant wine sector. Total table wine sales for the year were $9.6 billion, while premium wine cask sales racked up $110 million.
Among the factors leading to this explosive growth is the value offered by premium wine casks: one cask holds the equivalent of four bottles, and on an equivalized basis, are approximately 40 percent less expensive than the average table wine.
"In today's economy, consumers are seeking value with necessarily compromising quality, and this has contributed to premium wine cask success," said Danny Brager, vice president, Beverage Alcohol at Nielsen.
Read the full press release here.