Allegrini 2024

55% of Italians drink wine, which is increasingly popular among women but less so among young people

Frequent users and moderate ones, is the identikit drawn up by the Osservatorio UIV. Occasional consumption is increasing, while daily one declining
Wine is increasingly appreciated by women (ph: StockSnap from Pixabay)

The audience of Italian wine consumers is growing, with women leading the way, but only those aged 45 and up. More and more consumers, but more and more moderate ones: in the last 15 years, the number of occasional wine consumers in Italy has increased by 35% (+4.4 million), while daily consumption has decreased by 22%. According to the Osservatorio Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) which elaborated the Istat update on alcohol consumers, the new face of those who consume wine in Italy, today at 29.4 million (55% of the population). The profile that emerges is that of a female-driven audience (+12% vs. -2% of men), which will not abandon the “national” alcoholic beverage even if it is a very different approach than in the past. “The figures, according to UIV president Lamberto Frescobaldi, “recapture once more the responsible relationship of Italians with wine”, which is now understood more as a social and lifestyle element than as food. It demonstrates how the cultural approach to the product has become fundamental in a country that is not only the world’s first wine producer but also one of the most virtuous in terms of life expectancy”.
A trend that is less reflected by broadening the field to include other spirits like beer and aperitifs. In the case of beer, which has 27.4 million consumers, both daily users (+19% since 2008) and occasional users (+30%) have increased, with only “seasonal” users dropping due to the summer. The segment of alcoholic aperitifs is rapidly accelerating, in which wine with cocktails also plays an important role, has nearly 22 million followers today (+41% in the last 15 years), thanks in particular to the female consumption boom away from home (+79%), which is now the prerogative not only of young people of gen Z (up to 26 years) and Millennials (27-42 years), but also in a very strong rise for the now leading group, 45-54 years.
Returning to wine, which increased its audience by 4% during the study period (2008-2022), the over 65 range resists, while young people (25-34 years) show sharp declines, to -38%, but even more so the 35-44-year-olds (-48%), with significant drops (-26%) for the 45-54-year-olds. When we consider occasional consumers (+35%), and especially those over 45 years old, the trend reverses: the increase is 53%, the equivalent of over 4 million consumers in more. Overall, according to the Osservatorio Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), daily wine consumers will uncork 461 million fewer bottles in 2022 than in 2008, while occasional consumers will increase their purchases by 344 million bottles.
Lombardy (16.7% of total Italy), Lazio (9.8%), Campania with Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna are the most populous Italian regions in terms of wine consumption. A ranking that shifts depending on the proportion of users in relation to the total population by region: Emilia-Romagna takes first place (62% consume wine), followed by Valle d’Aosta (61%), and Veneto, Umbria, and Tuscany at 60% on a national average of 55% (29.4 million consumers).
According to the Osservatorio Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), the trend of a generalised decline in daily users to the benefit of occasional users has been confirmed over the last 11 years (2011-2022). The main decreases in daily consumers are recorded in the South, with Puglia (-33%) and Abruzzo (-28%); above the national average (-19%) also other important producing regions, such as Piedmont and Trentino (-25%) in the North and Campania (-23%) in the South, while decreases in the average are noted in Veneto, Tuscany Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. In the Islands, if in Sardinia the daily wine lovers decrease by 23%, Sicily proves to be the most resilient to the trend, with a drop of just 2% in 11 years. Overall, the lowest consumption rate in the category is found in Trentino-Alto Adige (34% of the entire population).
Above-average (+25%) increases in the number of occasional consumers, particularly in Trentino-Alto Adige, followed by Molise, Veneto, Abruzzo, and Campania. In general, Calabria (-17%) lost the most consumers during the period, followed by Sardinia (-10%). Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, and Umbria, on the other hand, experienced strong growth.

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