Allegrini 2018

Extraordinary supply, the concentration of distribution, price war: the concerns of wine

The reflections of producers and managers of Italy, collected by WineNews, with a sector that is still healthy and that does not lose confidence
An extraordinary offer, the concentration of distribution, the price war

Strengthened by its growing quality, and by the many different expressions of grape varieties, territories and histories, Italian wine holds on to the markets of the world. But among the producers, who are optimistic by nature and vocation, there is no lack of concern for the future of the markets, and not only for the dynamics closely linked to wine. Many are the criticalities reported by the dozens of leading entrepreneurs and managers of Italian wine of which WineNews has collected testimonies, reflections, and outbursts, in that of Prowein 2019. The unstoppable proliferation of the offer is alarming, for example, with thousands and thousands of labels ending up on the markets (according to some, only in Italy more than 20 new labels are registered every day), which in addition to creating an increasingly fierce competition between the producers themselves, disorientates the consumers of the world.
What worries, perhaps even more, is the pressure on prices that distributors and importers in the markets of the world, especially in those with a monopoly regime, but not only that, with negotiations that start immediately from the price, obviously downwards, even before the wine is tasted, and it is possible to tell the peculiarities of the taste, but also of the production, of the origin or of the values and of the history that are behind that bottle. An obviously mortifying aspect, for the many who work with passion, and that also affects the economic margins, which are always lower.
With a dynamic that, moreover, increasingly benefits the bottlers, compared to those who take care of the entire chain, from the vineyard to the shelf. And, linked to this aspect, there is also the growing pressure from private labels, and not only abroad. And, even in this case, many people, as the producers say, are playing down, often thwarting the work of building value and improving positioning. To all this is added, moreover, an increasing concentration in a few hands of import and distribution in world markets, from the U.S. to the United Kingdom, passing through Germany, among others, with an increasingly unbalanced power in favor of those who market the wine compared to those who produce it, both in terms of price positioning and access to the market itself.
And if these are the concerns most closely related to the wine sector, there are other major dynamics, such as the international tensions between the U.S. and China, for example, or the chaos related to Brexit, which are synonymous with great uncertainty that, of course, stops markets and investments. So many elements that warn producers of a sector that is however strong and prestigious, that must not be undermined, also because it has been capable, over the years, of recovering from crises within the sector, but also outside it. However, it must become aware of the great quality of a wine, the beauty of the territories, the fascinating history of those who produce it, these are important and significant elements that, however, alone, do not guarantee growth and prosperity.

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