Allegrini 2018

Fine Wines and restaurants, the recovery is felt, and 35% of consumers are ready to spend more

The report of Nomisma Wine Monitor for Istituto Grandi Marchi brings together 18 top brands. The appellation is the first criterion of choice

2021 led to a good recovery in food and wine sales in Italian catering, a rebound of +22.3% in 2020, above 66 billion euros, which bodes well for the prospects of fine wines, for which catering represents a channel of strategic importance. Not only commercial, but also cultural, a boost to that “upgrading” of Italian wine enthusiasts, who today demonstrate that they are more aware and autonomous in their choices. So much so that 88% in 2021 considered the presence of denomination brands on wine to be ordered away from home very important (against 86% of 2019), as well as the well-known brands-winery which remains important for 82%, the local origin (80% against 78% previously) and native vines (79% against 77% of 2019). And even if in 2021 we remained far from the turnover levels of 2019, in which the “food service” in Italy stood at 85.5 billion (-22.4%), the prospects for fine wines on the national market are promising, given that the total quantities of wine consumed outside the home rose to 9% in 2021, from the previous 6%, the difference between those who increased and decreased their wine spending outside the home went from -27% in 2020 to -19% in 2021. And, above all, 35% of consumers expect that, in 2022, wine spending outside the home will grow, primarily because they will go more in the restaurants. These are the main data that emerge from the Report “Wine and catering between Covid and its surroundings, positioning and prospects for fine wines in the Italian markets”, edited by Nomisma-Wine Monitor on behalf of Istituto Grandi Marchi (which brings together 18 of the most prestigious names of Italian wine, Alois Lageder, Folonari Tenute, Antinori, Argiolas, Ca’ del Bosco, Carpenè Malvolti, Col d’Orcia, Donnafugata, Jermann, Lungarotti, Masi, Mastroberardino, Michele Chiarlo, Pio Cesare, Rivera, Tasca d’Almerita, Tenuta San Guido e Umani Ronchi) and presented in the Foreign Press Room in Rome.
The study took place in two different time phases: October 2020 and September 2021. A space of one year, framed in a pandemic period that has changed and repositioned the choices and habits of consumers, and which in the end gave the positive indications “of the strengthening of the perception of the importance of the quality of fine wines”, as stated by the president of Istituto Grandi Marchi, Piero Mastroberardino. On the prospects of fine wines in 2022, Mastroberardino observed, to the microphones of WineNews, that he considered himself “moderately confident and optimistic, there is a desire to return to recover positions on the classic channels such as the horeca and there is a desire to understand how to reap the fruits of the sowing done in this period nt hose alternative channels that emergency was also enhanced with products of higher ranking. For international markets, we are repopulating the travel agendas, of events abroad, so we are happy, the feeling is that there is a desire to reopen”.
“Covid – adds Piero Mastroberardino – has led companies to have more time to rethink their internal products, their positioning. Personally, I took advantage of this travel limitation by working a lot internally, thus recovering something previously neglected for the dynamics of travel. Today I feel more ready and I trust that this affects many of my colleagues. Today we have a more mature Italian wine, more aware itself, of its potential and more capable of achieving a winning position on an international level”. While restaurants bowed their heads in terms of food and wine sales, the wine sector was condoled with the increase in sales on alternative channels that gave boost like never before: between Iper, Super, cash & carry, discounts and e-commerce of generalist sites (retail chains + Amazon) – noted the Report – the increase was 5% in 2021 over 2020 and 12% in 2021 over 2019. All this while exports continued on the positive ground and in 2021 deliveries of Italian wine abroad increased by 12% over 2019, reaching over 7 billion. President Mastroberardino underlined the support and proximity of Instituto Grandi Marchi to the sector, considered crucial for fine wines, which suffered greatly from too many restrictions dictated by the pandemic, especially in the initial year of the emergency. “It is certainly no coincidence that our group, in the hardest phase of the pandemic – he said – has demonstrated in every possible way its proximity to the restaurant sector, with initiatives dedicated to promoting this great resource of the national socio-economy”.
As a small consolation for restaurants, according to the Nomisma research, the fact that they were the type of venue that best coped with the contraction on consumption in the outdoors (41% of wine consumers away from home decrease their spending on this channel, compared to 46% of wine bars, pubs and bars). According to the research, again, Millennials are strongly oriented towards the consumption of wine away from home, with 55% of them representing the profile of typical consumer, who is also mainly men, from Northern Italy, with a degree and an upper middle income. If in 2020, the hard year of the pandemic, 34% of people consumed wine away from home, in 2021 it went to 54%.
For consumption choices at the restaurant table, although always with a view to a general decline, mainly due to restrictions, wines consumed by the glass held up better, and the least penalized occasions were the “special” ones (holiday and birthdays), while the “formal” ones (business lunches and dinners) suffered most. As for the drivers of choices, as we have said, the wines with the appellation, the well-known brands and the local origin or indigenous wines are the driving forces. But the Nomisma-Igm research also highlights the consumer’s greater attention to the “green” aspects and therefore 64% declare maximum attention to the environment and health, while 22% attach more importance to sustainable wine than in 2019.
“After two years of living with the coronavirus - underlined Denis Pantini, head of Nomisma Wine Monitor - our research highlights growth prospects for the current years, driven by a greater deside of Italian to dine at restaurants. All are characterized by increasing attention to high-quality and premium wines that find their natural habitat in the catering channel. “During these two years of Covid – added Pantini to WIneNews microphones – we have not stopped consuming wine, consumption has shifted by channels and that of catering, between the stop and go is a channel that has resumed selling quality wines and where the consumer has not given up on this quality, and this is a sign of the premiumization of consumption that has been registered in Italy for dome years and mainly concerns large-scale distribution”.
The presentation of this Nomista Wine Monito report was also an opportunity to reflect on the negative impacts of expensive energy and expensive raw materials on the wine sector, with packaging and packaging materials such as paper, glass wood increases and arrive with severe delays with respect to company orders. Chiara Lungarotti (who, with her historic cellar, is in the Instituto Grandi Marchi, and is one of the references of Umbrian wine), noted, to WineNews, that “this scenario has an impact on profitability, and mainly affects companies which have less bargaining power. We all have to hope that this crisis will be resolved as soon as possible”.

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