After plummeting in 2020 due to lockdown measures and the home seclusion trend, on-trade volume sales of wine rebounded at a robust pace in 2021 as vaccination against COVID-19 and the easing of public health restrictions encouraged more Uruguayans to begin frequenting foodservice outlets again. This turnaround was also supported by an improved economic climate and the gradual return of inbound tourists.
As consumers have become more knowledgeable about different varieties and developed more sophisticated tastes, higher-end and fine wines have gained popularity at the expense of cheaper table wines in Uruguay in recent years. Notably, this tendency towards premiumisation has been visible not only among older people, who still make up the biggest cohort of wine drinkers in the country, but also among young adults.
Sparkling wine was the most dynamic of the main wine categories in total volume growth terms in 2021, with champagne and other sparkling wine both registering impressive performances in this regard. Growth was bolstered by the fact that sales were emerging from a relatively low base, as consumption of these product types in Uruguay is still marginal as compared to neighbouring countries Brazil and Argentina.
Wine is set to perform well throughout the forecast period, with total volume sales projected to increase steadily from 2022 onwards. Together with growth in the population aged over 18 years, the strength of Uruguay’s traditional wine drinking culture will underpin the expansion of the category in volume terms.
With its penetration having been significantly strengthened by the fallout of the pandemic, e-commerce should continue to gain importance as a distribution channel in wine over the forecast period. However, its off-trade volume share is expected to remain quite low overall, and it is unlikely to perform as well as in other alcoholic drinks categories.
Given that older people tend to have more fixed preferences that are difficult to change, it is likely young adults will be the main target audience for marketing activities in wine over the forecast period. In particular, producers are expected to invest in new campaigns geared towards creating additional consumption occasions among this demographic.
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This is the aggregation of still and sparkling light grape wines, fortified wine and vermouth and non-grape wine. In terms of alcohol content, light wine usually falls into the 8-14% ABV bracket while fortified wine ranges from 14-23% ABV. Low and non-alcoholic wine is also included in the data (attributed to each sector as appropriate).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Wine research and analysis database.
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