Allegrini 2018

Federvini Economic Observatory data: Wine export and consumption growth

Nomisma: the off trade channel grew + 6.1%, exports soaring, but the average price is still far from French wines
Italian wine according to Federvini data

The first two studies conducted by the Osservatorio Economico di Federvini, (Italian federation of wine industries economic observatory), “Wines, Spirits and Vinegars: Market Values ​​and Competitiveness”, edited by Nomisma (economic studies consultancy company), and “Wines and Spirits in the Out of Home Market”, created by TradeLab, tell the story of record growth in exports of Italian wines, between 2019 and 2021 as well as the stable growth of spirits on the domestic market and in exports, and the excellent performance of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The trend is picking up both on the domestic and International markets for wine. Sales in the off-trade channel at the end of September (NielsenIQ data) showed +6.1% growth in value compared to the same period in 2020 (1.947 billion euros). These figures are most of all merit of the strong boost sparkling wines have given, registering +27.5% increase, driven by the dry Charmat and Classic method typologies.

Exports are also growing (as WineNews has often written, analyzing ISTAT, Italian statistics company data, ed.). Italian wine is soaring in the main importing countries. In the period January-September 2021, it grew + 14.7% in the United States, + 6, 1% in the United Kingdom, +9.4% in Germany, +15% in Canada, +27% in Russia and +47.2% in China compared to the same period in 2020. Especially in the United States, exports of Italian wine registered a growth rate, in comparison to 2019 that is more than double the growth of Spanish wines (+ 6.8%) and more than three times the registered growth of French wines (4.7%), although growth in 2021 is slightly below average of the total growth of United States imports (+18.7%).

Champagne leads the way among PDOs, which between January and August 2021, shipped bottles for almost 2 billion euros, followed by Bordeaux wines (1.45 billion euros), Prosecco (800 million euros), Burgundy white wines (398 million euros), Burgundy red wines (393 million euros) and Tuscan red wines (392 million euros).

Italy has been confirmed the number one world exporter of wine in terms of volumes, followed by France, which, however, is first in terms of export value. The price of Italian wines on International markets is lower compared to French ones, and this price difference is not actually justified in terms of quality. Taking into consideration that while Bordeaux red wines are shipped from the French borders at 14 euros per liter, the price of Piedmont red wines does not go beyond 9.4 euros, while the Tuscan red wines do not even reach 8 euros. Italian spirits share this trend in part, as well. The excellence of Italian products, therefore, needs to be valued more appropriately, also and above all, from an economic point of view, on International markets.

In the first nine months of 2021 spirits also registered high growth in sales on the off-trade channel, + 8.4% compared to the same period in 2020. The outbreak of the Pandemic is no longer only linked to occasions of consumption outside the home, but it is also increasingly widespread at home. As many as 35% of Italian consumers confirm they prefer to drink spirits in mixed mode at home. Spirits also performed well on International markets, registering exports of 828 million euros in the first 8 months of the year, which is up 22% compared to the same period in 2020. And they also exceeded pre Covid-19 levels, thanks to the exceptional dynamics of two excellent Made in Italy products: liqueurs and grappa.

Large companies drive the market performances of both wines and spirits. The results of the analysis carried out on the 2015-2020 financial statements reveal that in the wine sector, companies that registered over 50 million euros in turnover have increased revenues by +22.1%, while turnovers between 10 and 50 million euros, +15.3%, those between 2 and 10 million euros, +7%, and companies under 2 million euros in turnover registered a decrease of - 5.5%.

Regarding vinegars, the excellent performance of Balsamic Vinegar is noteworthy. Its sales in the Italian off-trade channel grew +4.3% in the first nine months of the year, against a trend of generalized decrease in the category (-5.0%). Trends on International markets are also positive, especially in the main reference market, the United States, where exports show a + 24% increase in the period January-August 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. Sales in France are also growing, while exports to Germany and the United Kingdom are, instead, down.

The “Away from Home” trend consumption of wines and spirits, analyzed by the TradeLab study, highlights the size of the impact of closures determined in relation to the Pandemic and the role of wines and spirits in moments of conviviality. In 2021, the consumption of food and drink away from home is expected to register a turnover of 66 billion euros, which is up +22% compared to 2020, but 19 billion euros lower than in 2019.

In comparison to 2019, wines and spirits registered a better trend in 2021 (-5%) than the entire market for out-of-home consumption (-23%), and in line with the trend of reopening, +156% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter and +106% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. During the summer, though, 170 million aperitifs and 101 million cocktails were consumed, outside the home, for a total of over 1 million a day. In the first 9 months of 2021, the breakdown of the consumption of wines and spirits away from home shows wine in first place, at 330 million drinks (glasses / bottles / bulk, 41%), followed by cocktails and straight spirits at 235 million (29%), bubbles at 120 million (glasses / bottles, 15%) and bitters and sweet liqueurs at 115 million (14%).

“The data show that our sectors are in good health”, commented Micaela Pallini, president of Federvini, “but, nevertheless, it would be wrong to conclude that all is well. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a resurge of the Pandemic, which together with inflationary tensions on raw materials and increases in transportation costs, seriously endanger our companies’ growth in 2022. In addition to this there are attacks on Made in Italy products through introducing duties or regulatory barriers as well as unacceptable attacks on our denominations. These are the reasons why we expect concrete support from our Institutions, such as streamlining administrative procedures, promoting our products on International markets and protecting our geographical indications, which are an important heritage of the entire country. We are also witnessing an International demonizing and prohibitionist offensive against our products, which does not distinguish between correct consumption and abuse”.

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