SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -
New studies suggesting that consumption of red wine may help people live longer are boosting sales in the entire wine category, according to ACNielsen here. Red wines accounted for a recent high of 52.4% of table wine dollar sales in U.S. food, drug and liquor stores for the four weeks ending Nov. 18, compared to less than 50% in the prior four-week period, and 51% in the comparable year-ago time frame. “It's very reasonable to assume that there is a strong linkage between the red wine sales trends we see, and credible medical studies related to the subject of health,” said Danny Brager, vice president, client services, ACNielsen's beverage alcohol team. The sales come at a time when a study by Harvard Medical School and the National Institute on Aging found that daily doses of resveratrol, a substance in red wine, may slow the aging process. "It certainly appears that the weight of favorable red wine press on the heels of the Harvard Medical School report impacted consumer choice within the wine category, leading to a surge of red wine sales much more pronounced than what we have seen historically,” Brager said in a statement. Red Wine volume sales grew 3.3% for the full year ending just prior to the press, then nearly doubled to a growth rate of 8.3% for the most recent four-week period vs. last year, and more than 11% in dollar gains.