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TRENDS

During the pandemic, the love of Italians for wine has grown. And 9 out of 10 people consume it

The survey “Italian and wine” by the Vinitaly-Nomisma Wine Monitor Observatory. For the majority, moderate consumption is not damaging

Not only worries about markets and expensive prices but also good news for Italian wine: in two years, despite the pandemic, consumers have grown, especially among young people. The health battles do not scare wine lovers: for most of them, moderate consumption is not bad (and only 1 in 10 knows what Nutriscore is). Organic and native vines are among the most important values in the choice, but the consumption of wine for mixology is also growing. These are the main trends that emerge from the latest survey “Italians and wine”, presented today, in Rome, in the Vinitaly 2022 launch (no. 54), on stage in Verina, from 10 to 13 April, signed by the Vinitaly Observatory – Nomisma Wine Monitor, who wanted to compare the relationship between Italians and wine with a survey very similar to the one realized in 2019.
As before, and more than before: the appreciation of Italians for wine remains very high, even higher than in the last pre-Covid period. In the last year, 89% of Italians drank wine – an increase compared to 3 years ago – mainly thanks to the many young adults, protagonists of a moderate and conscious approach. Thus emerge a picture of unchanged passion for Italian wine to which is added an increased curiosity on the part of young people. In 2019, consumers belonging to Generation Z and Millennials (18-41 years) have considerably increased in numbers (from 84% to 90%) but not in quantity, while the incidence of Generation X consumers remains unchanged (89%, 42-57 years) and the share of Baby Boomers (over 57 years) is lowered, who lose the primacy of the number (not of the frequency of consumption) passing from 93% to 90%.
Compared to just 3 years ago, instead, there are different news also related to the preferred types. According to the survey, the most marked growth trend concern the consumption of mixed wines – mainly spritzes – which encounter a penetration of 63% of the audience (compared to 56% in 2019). All other types also increased well, with sparkling wines, reds, and whites, all at 81% (they were 77%) and rosés at 63% (compared to 57% in 2019). But numerousness does not always rhyme with quantity: sparkling wine, but also rosé wines and spritz are in fact the object of occasional consumption, in particular by the under 40s, with a share of those who drink them weekly below 20%. The approach to red wine is different, which remains the hardcore of the habitual with about 60% of Baby Boomers who consume it 2-3 times a week and even 1/3 every day.
For the Nomisma Wine Monitor manager, Denis Pantini, “the growth of premium wines in large-scale distribution, starting with sparkling wines, is a heritage that Covid leaves us and which, combined with the recovery of consumption outside the home, can lead to increase in the market value of wine consumed in Italy today equal to 13.8 billion euros, 7% less than what was achieved in 2019”.
But the green light between Italians and wine does not only concern consumption – which has increased compared to the immediate pre-Covid (2019) – but also the future choices of consumers. The approval rating for organic/sustainable wines increases, which conquer the first place among the products indicated with the greatest growth potential in the coming years with 27% of preferences, to the damage of native vines which, in 3 years, that passes from 28% to 22%. A green revolution is driven by millennials (27-41) years) whose share in favor of green choices increases to over 32%, while the natives drop to 18%. In particular, according to the Observatory survey carried out on a representative sample at a national level, there is a strong motivation for sustainable wines, with consumers willing to spend on average almost 10% more to make the most ethical choice. Responsible consumption not only from an environmental point of view: in relation to the moderation of consumption, once again young people stand out, proving that “getting drunk” involves wine in a very marginal way. On average, in fact, in the last 12 months, Italians have consumed 4.1 glasses per person per week (it was 3.8% in 2019), with the Millennials who stop at 3.5% and the Baby Boomers (over 57% years) who confirm themselves as the most assiduous of the glass. But the differences from the pre-pandemic period do not end there. If regionality (Veneto, Tuscany, Piedmont in the lead, but also Puglia and Sicily) remains a fixed point among the future preferences of consumers, the trend linked to easy to drink, light, low alcohol or low and no alcohol wines is growing. Regarding the latter 2 out of 3 respondents do not exclude trying them in the future, a figure that increases to almost 75% for women. Another important aspect that emerges is that for Italians, consuming wine moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle is not bad for their health. the thesis, under discussion on Eu policies (and on the World Health Organization) on the consumption of alcohol and food, is shredded by the vast majority of Italians, with only 5% disagreeing with this statement. Furthermore, only 1 in 10 consumers (13%) know what Nutriscore is, the new traffic light labeling system that could find space on Italian and European shelves in the next months. According to the survey, even the hypothesis of increasing taxes on alcohol – and therefore on wine – advocated by the European Parliament, is agreed only by 27% of consumers against 53% who contest the possible implementation. On a scale of 1 to 5, the Italians attribute a score of 2.46 to excise duties on wine while they agree with the hypothesis of inserting messages on the label that invite responsible consumption (score: 4.04). The highest score concerns the affirmation that moderate consumption of wine combined with a healthy lifestyle is not bad for health (4.18), followed by wine associated with the Mediterranean Diet (3.81).

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