U.S. IS FASTEST GROWTH MARKET FOR WINE AND SPIRIT EDUCATION
— Wine & Spirit Education Trust Set to Expand U.S. Presence with New Dedicated Team —
LONDON, U.K. (August 3, 2017) – New figures from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) reveal that demand for wine, spirits and sake education is higher than ever as the consumer trend to ‘drink less but better’ sparks businesses to invest in staff training.
WSET, the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines and spirits, is reporting a record 85,487 candidates globally in the academic year finishing July 31, 2017, an increase of 19% on last year, marking 15 years of growth. The U.K. continued to lead the global table with candidate numbers up 14% to 19,401, yet it was the U.S. that saw the greatest growth in candidate numbers amongst the top 10 markets, up 48% to 11,487.
Top 10 WSET Markets for the Academic Year 2016/17 (growth from the previous year):
- UK (+14%)
- Mainland China (+41%)
- USA (+48%)
- Canada (+4%)
- Hong Kong (+16%)
- France (+32%)
- Australia (+27%)
- Taiwan (+5%)
- South Korea (+13%)
- Switzerland (+11%)
Poised for More U.S. Growth
In the last year, WSET welcomed over 100 new Approved Programme Providers and there are now 750 Providers offering WSET courses to wine, spirits and sake trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in over 70 countries. In the U.S., a total of 50 Approved Program Providers now offer WSET courses. U.S. growth from 2016/17 broken down by level and focus was:
Level 1 Award in Wines: +35%
Level 1 Award in Spirits: +150%
Level 1 Award in Sake +333% (launched in 2015/16 academic year)
Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits: +49%
Level 2 Award in Spirits: +204%
Level 3 Award in Wines: +31%
Level 3 Award in Sake: -22% (due to the introduction of Level 1)
Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits: +8%
As the fastest growing market for wine, spirits and sake education, WSET will be cementing its presence in the U.S. with the appointment of a dedicated team on-territory that will nurture its potential.
The new academic year will also see the release of the freshly updated Level 2 Award in Spirits and the availability of a full suite of printed materials for the Level 3 Award in Sake.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, says, “I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognizing that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits. After another successful year for WSET, we’re setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”
According to David Wrigley, MW DipWSET, who oversees WSET’s development in the U.S., consumers are demonstrating a growing sense of adventure as they explore niche wines and spirits, and diverse regions. In response, the beverage trade is seeking out WSET education to keep up with the growing U.S. market. The need for more knowledgeable staff is leading businesses to prioritize formal training and accredited qualifications for staff to cater to customers’ distinguished tastes and drive profits.
A World of Wines and Spirits
The extensive range of wine, spirit and sake samples tasted through courses makes WSET a key contributor to the global market. Through WSET classroom tastings across the world, WSET was responsible for approximately 154,759 liters of wine sales last year – equivalent to 1,548 bathtubs. 21,879 liters were tasted through WSET courses in the U.S. alone.
Through spirit and sake courses, WSET was also responsible for a further 3,121 liters of spirits from 12 countries and approximately 566 liters of sake.
These totals are made up of hundreds of thousands of 50ml (wine and sake) and 15ml (spirits) classroom samples that make up the minimum tasting requirement for a WSET course. They do not include the thousands of additional bottles bought by candidates taking the courses online or tasting at home in preparation for exams.
# # #
About the Wine & Spirit Education Trust
WSET is the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines and spirits. WSET qualifications are regulated by the UK Government and have a strong reputation worldwide. In the last academic year (2016/17) 85,487 candidates sat for a WSET qualification. Courses are available in 19 languages and over 70 countries and are open both to industry professionals and interested enthusiasts. Since 1969 more than half a million individuals have completed a WSET qualification. We currently offer nine qualifications, from one-day beginner courses through to a specialist level diploma. For more information about WSET, please visit the new fully responsive website:www.WSETglobal.com