Cheaper wines find more fans
In the recession, drinkers traded down to less-expensive brands. Now they're hooked.
Wine drinkers traded down to cheaper brands over the past few years, and now they're not returning to the pricey bottles, The Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, they're sticking with lower-priced ones.
The economic downturn was the hardest on wineries that sell bottles for $20 and up, the Journal reports. Last year, wines priced at $9 to $12 a bottle saw sales spike 12%, while the overall industry saw only a 3% increase.
People "have woken up to the fact that there are a lot of choices out there," one California winemaker told the Journal. He said he doesn't expect buyers will return to their earlier spending habits. "It's not ever going to be what it was."
Even Wal-Mart (WMT) is jumping on the lower-priced-wine trend, installing wine vending machines at some locations. Check them out in this video (post continues below):
This new reality is obvious at companies like Constellation Brands (STZ), which owns the Robert Mondavi label. In the last quarter, Constellation shifted from holiday promotions to focus on higher-priced brands, the Journal reported. Sales to retailers rose by only 2%, compared with 4% in the previous quarter.
There's a similar story at restaurants. People are ordering more wine by the glass instead of full bottles, and prices on wine lists are coming down, the Journal reports.
Once in a while, my friends and I get together for a wine tasting where we hide the labels of four wines -- three under $10 and one at $50 or more. We pick the one we like the best, without seeing the bottles. The lower-priced bottles come out ahead just about every time.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Obamacare isn't the only reform hitting the US health industry. One company is emerging as a stronger player after recent struggles.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.