French organic wine industry worth 1.2 billion euros

Monday November 13 2017 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Marion Sepeau Ivaldi

The organic wine industry in France generates 1.2 billion euros in revenue, three times more than seven years ago. Sales proved to be buoyant both in France – where they reached 792 million euros in 2016, two and a half times more than in 2010 – and export markets where revenue stood at 419 million euros, a three-fold increase. Against this backdrop of growth, industry organisation SudVinBio recently commissioned a study to find out more about the range of organic wines sold in conventional wine stores and organic shops which currently account for 19% and 23% of volume sales respectively; direct to consumer sales are the main distribution channel, accounting for 41% of sales.

5% of consumption volumes in Paris

The research was conducted in Paris and Toulouse by Agrex Consulting and involved 83 stores in Paris and 17 in Toulouse. It reveals that organic wines have increased their share of consumption from 2% in 2010 to 3.7% in 2016, rising to 5% for Paris. French wines have cornered the market, with a 98% share, slightly higher than for conventional wines where foreign bottlings hold an average 5% share. “For organic wines, consumers like to buy French and the organic wine industry will work hard to pre-empt any issues that may arise around misused origin statements”, commented Patrick Guiraud, chairman of SudVinBio, alluding to problems encountered by other parts of the French wine industry.

The study also shows that the vast majority of organic wines (70%) retail for between 5 and 15 euros a bottle. “Generally speaking, the prices of organic wines are slightly higher than for conventional wines but the gap is not huge”, pointed out Benoît Bechet, associate director of Agrex Consulting. Patrick Guiraud added: “Average prices are higher because there are more appellation wines in the organic proposition than in the conventional selection”. The study confirms that 82% of organic wines boast appellation status.

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