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The US is by far the largest consumer of wine in the world at an annual rate of 4.3 billion bottles per year, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine. The wine market is huge, and is expected to keep growing at a rate of 6 percent, driven by a growing interest in wine among Millenials. The wine sector has been going through some twists and turns in the past decade, many of which are responsible for the constant rise in popularity and growth of the industry in recent years. From the rise of e-commerce to changing consumer preferences, here are some of the trends that willseparate the winners from the losers as the new decade starts.

New packaging options

As more consumers prefer to drink their wines at home or private social functions, there is a rise in demand for packaging options that offer more convenience and portability. For example, bag-in-box wine has become so popular that even premium brands are using the format for 3-liter and 1.5-liter quantities. Canned wine is no longer a fad, after enjoying double-digit growth rates in recent years. Other alternative containers, such as mini-bottles and tetra packs, as well as clever packaging such as augmented reality labels, are capturing the attention of younger wine consumers.

Technology in wine shopping

Technology has taken over wine shopping and made it a lot more interesting and easier for the average wine consumer to find great wines from different parts of the world. Thanks to technology, consumers have a lot more options of different types of wines from different origins and at different price points. One way that technology is changing the wine retail industry is by allowing consumers to buy wines from different corners of the planet without even leaving their homes. For example, if you fancy an Australian wine, you can buy red wine from the Qantas Store, and experience first hand what the best vineyards down under have to offer. This has allowed consumers to explore more wine options, which also drives sales.

Cannabis-infused wines

While alcohol consumption among young consumers has declined over the past decade, a rise in cannabis-infused beverages has been evident, especially after the legalization of cannabis in some US states. As a result, various wine brands have also started selling cannabis-infused wine to cater for the growing demand. However, due to laws  prohibiting alcoholic beverages from being combined with cannabinoids, such wines do not contain alcohol.

Driven by these and other trends, the wine industry will continue to evolve as the years come and go. It is up to you as a consumer, manufacturer, seller or other stakeholders in the wine industry to keep an eye on these trends so that you can make more informed wine-related decisions.