French producers are concerned, and rightly so, because -apart from other problems related to competition and appellations of origin– they are seeing as, in recent years, their countrymen are drinking less and less amount of wine. In fact, according to a recent study made by FranceAgriMer, under the French Ministry of Agriculture, the average consumption is just one glass a day when traditionally it was much higher.
Besides the economic crisis, which has had a fairly negative impact on the consumption of all types of products in France, as in other countries, they are beginning to detect a shift in consumer habits of the French, who increasingly tend to soft drinks and juices to accompany their meals, something that could be called a cultural transformation.
The study data are conclusive, especially when compared with similar studies of the past. So, currently the average French -still being the Europeans who drink more wine- consumes 57 liters annually, while in the mid-sixties of the last century the figure was around 160. Compared to recent years, the data should make think the key industry players: in 2005 the daily drinkers of wine represented 21% of the total, and today only 17%, increasing instead the number of occasional drinkers.
No doubt, some data that should also be considered by wine producers from other countries, traditionally wine consumers. The popularization, firstly, of soft drinks and refreshments (of controversial nutritional value) and, secondly, of fruit juices (more suitable with healthy consumption habits) are slowly changing a tradition rooted in France for centuries, so that its strong wine industry is starting to be forced to take action on the matter.
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