Which U.S. state for wine export?

Analysis of top wine importing states


Food&Beverage United States of America Export Export markets Foreign markets Foreign market analysis

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The American wine imports are experiencing a very dynamic growth, as described in the article Opportunities and challenges of exporting wine to US market.
During the strategic planning for internationalization, it is important to focus on the potentialities existing in more circumscribed regions of the national context to identify spaces of opportunities that are still open. For example, the analysis of wine and sparkling wine import of American states reveals an heterogeneous distribution of foreign wine demand, as a result of the local consumers tastes and the accessibility factors of each market. These factors are of crucial importance for a correct market entry strategy.

The following map of the United States marks the top US states importer of wines and sparkling wines: three states are the biggest ones and they are New York, California and New Jersey. These only three states represent more than 50% of total US wine imports: in 2018 the state of New York imported $ 2.6 billion, California $ 2.3 billion and New Jersey $ 1.2 billion. It should be noted that the remaining states are not evenly distributed: in most cases the import of a US state do not exceed $ 200 million pointing out different market preferences or more critical accessibility factors. Particularly noteworthy are Connecticut and Washington for the very dynamic growth experienced in recent years. The two States respectively increased their import value by $ 283 million and $ 102 million and enter in the top 10 importing states ranking in 2018.

US wine import

Mln $
Source: ExportPlanning

Italy-France: struggle for market leadership

Focusing on the Italian export performance, it should be noted the difference existing between French and Italian export value. Italy and France are the first two US trading partners in the sector, however, also for 2018, French exports were higher in value than Italy. This result is particularly evident in the case of two target markets: the state of New York and California. The following graph shows the difference registered in 2018 between French and Italian exports for all states with an import value exceeding $ 200 million. Positive results are reported for New Jersey, Minnesota, Florida and Washington .

Difference between Italian and French exports

Mln $
Source: ExportPlanning

On the Californian market, Italian exports has suffered a several fall due to the export performance of red and white wines: the market share held by Italy progressively reduced, while that of French competitors has grown. However, the decline did not affect Italian sparkling wine exports, which instead recorded a dynamic growth so much that California is the largest US market for Italian sparkling wines.
On the contrary, for the New York market, the market share held by Italy is close to the French one for red and white wines, but the strong gap is in the segment of sparkling wines. Although there has been an improvement in the Italian market share, the French competitor are widely the market leaders.

The mapping of the American top importer states conducted here, however, should not be considered exhaustive. For exporting companies, in fact, it could be highly strategic to analyze the export possibilities present in smaller target markets, in order to conquer market areas that are not saturated.